By Theron Moore

Portrait’s sound on “Crossroads” embraces classic power metal with some serious headbanging nods toward the NWOBHM and never for a second lets up, never gives you a chance to catch your breath.  Fans of Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, early Iron Maiden and Diamondhead won’t be disappointed.

The instrumental “Liberation” begins the disc and leads into “At the Ghost Gate” which sets the standard for what “Crossroads” is all about – redefining what power/speed metal is all about and proving that TRUE metal isn’t dead, it’s just buried underneath a bunch of crappy metalcore and like bands.

I tried like hell to find something, anything wrong with “Crossroads” and I couldn’t but I’ll be fair so here’s my complaint – it was only eight songs, should’ve been more, how about that?  I love the fact that Portrait isn’t afraid to do something daring – actually honor their metal roots and make music, “Crossroads,” that reflects that.  It’s refreshing in this day and age of cut and paste rock.