“Burn the World”

By Theron Moore

Portrait drops their fourth full length record, “Burn the World,” August 25th and truth be known, this one’s a scorcher.  The classic Portrait sound is stronger, heavier and much more aggressive than previous releases.  The title track “Burn the World” is one helluva way to open a record with its’ heavy Judas Priest meets King Diamond vibe played fast, and “fast” is an understatement. Portrait have never released a bad album and they’ve simply gotten better with each subsequent release.  “Burn the World” is why I lament we no longer have a Headbanger’s Ball on TV because if we did have one, Portrait would be huge by now.  It bothers me that a band of this stature are still somewhat of a cult band here in the states.  They deserve more.  And “Burn the World” shouts it out loud. And heavy.

Sweden’s favorite headbangers are back with a vengeance and something to prove – that’s it’s their time to be recognized as a contender to be reckoned with.  As I said before, this band has flown under the radar for too long and “Burn the World” might just turn out to be their breakout record.  Per Lengstedt’s vocals are massive in scope and range, you feel his commitment with every note he belts out.  But there’s something different with “Burn the World.”  I believe it goes back to the band realizing just how good they are and how much better, if that’s possible, they can be.  And they are.  Why Ghost opened for Maiden on their most recent US trek and not Portrait, is beyond me.  

This band is firing on all cylinders here.  The metal is heavy, the guitars are screamin’ and the music, in general, is as incendiary as it’s ever been.  And yes I said incendiary.  Here, it fits. Every song is chock full of NWOBHM and power metal elements all wrapped up in what I’d call, a classic metal sound.  Bands like Priest and Maiden as well as early Coroner and King Diamond ring through loudly.  I think what makes this record as strong as it does, is, the band understands its roots and influences and channels them well.  They’ve figured out what works for them and what doesn’t.  And they play to those strengths.   They’re not trying to be something they’re not here.  They live, they breathe and they exude metal.  The name of the game with this band is powerful, soaring, rock N roll.  That’s it, nothing else.  Buy this record.  It’s killer.