PORTRAIT “At One With None”

By Theron Moore

It astounds me how good European metal is, and has been, regardless of metal genre. PORTRAIT’s new record, “At One With None”, exemplifies this statement... it’s a burner.

PORTRAIT have been described as sounding similar to MERCYFUL FATE, which you can argue up to a point. Certainly, you can hear the King Diamond influence through the vocals of singer Per Lengstedt throughout this disc, especially on the song, “A Murder Of Crows.” PORTRAIT, though, owes more to the various founding fathers of NWOBHM than King and company. If Lengstedt is somehow channeling FATE, the rest of the band do a damn good job of bringing forth the spirit of MAIDEN from their first two albums. Track two, “Curtains (The Dumb Supper)” is a good example of this.

Before we move forward, let’s address the elephant in the room. If you can ignore a few of the song titles on this record like “At One With None,” “Phantom Fathomer,” and the aforementioned, “Curtains (The Dumb Supper),” trust me, the music kicks ass, you’ll dig what PORTRAIT’s doing on “At One With None”.

“He Who Stands,” is a go for the throat, mighty slab of classic metal with just a hint of European, gothic-doom tossed in to create atmosphere. “He Who Stands” might just be the best track on “At One With None” because of its musical depth and ability to switch back and forth between the hard driving gallop of classic metal and the doomy interludes throughout the song.

All in all, “At One With None” is a solid record of killer, traditional metal. PORTRAIT have hit their stride with this album and in so doing, have cemented their musical identity with a strong, classic, power metal groove that’s genuine and not some kind of retro or tribute gig. “At One With None” is real deal, leather vest, bullet belt heavy metal. I’m recommending that all metal fans should buy this record. Immediately.