The current sound of heavy metal is still quite rich as it was back in the old days when groups like Iron Maiden, Manowar, and Grave Digger were staples of genre much like they still are today, but at the time it was revolutionary. After a few decades, many believe that one of the original sub-styles of metal has decayed over the years and that there’s “no good heavy metal made anymore”. To those fools, I simply throw awesome modern albums their way, and upon hearing the newest opus from the Swedish battalion of Portrait, I now have fresh and new material to throw at those same fools.
In order to create a good heavy metal record anymore is still to channel the classic sound and feel, naturally, but you still gotta throw in your own personal flare to really let listeners know you’re just not another cookie cutter band looking to succeed off the success of better bands. Take Sumerlands for example, they’ve only put out one record but it’s a fucking great piece because they did your basic heavy metal but built upon it with their own structures. Portrait managed to succeed that task for the most part but still managed to fall short because apart from the tasty riffage and the appropriate amount of diversity to all “Burn the World” to not sound completely monotone, they practically still sound like any other heavy metal band. That being said, they do it quite well with this record and it’s hard for me to say that I didn’t get my fair share of kicks out of this piece. The whole of “Burn the World” really manages to come together to stand as a solid piece of nonstop heavy metal that, while just different enough, sounds very similar to what masters of yore created for us, and as if they were passing the torch Portrait has taken it gladly. “Burn the World” has plenty of classic metal moments woven throughout it to keep the album progressing and this band clearly has the talent and experience that easily explains how they’ve gotten to where they’re at as a band after over ten years of preaching the heavy metal.
While it did honestly disappoint me a bit that Portrait never really seemed to go for a sound that they can truly call their’s, it’s not without still coming out as a practical success for someone trying to create a modern heavy metal record that can stand on its own. That’s precisely what was done here, and it’s hard to say that Portrait didn’t do a solid job here. “Burn the World” is a satisfactory record that shows the original flame of heavy metal far from being snuffed out, and we’ve promising bands like Portrait to thank for that.
“Burn the World” releases on August 25th via Metal Blade Records!
PRE-ORDER “Burn the World” via iTunes here.
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