Rather than a frontal assault, most of Portal’s Outre’ is a lumbering, prowling animal that waits after continual building to finally attack. Portal’s sound is not the only unusual thing about the band, they also choose to remain nameless and adopt personas, along with immaculate costumes for stage performances that are intended to disturb, but actually create a new level of depth to stage presence. With names that accompany the members like “The Curator” on vocals, “Horror Illogium” (likely stemming from “elogium” which stands for eulogy, or praise bestowed upon a person or item) on lead guitar, “Aphotic Mote” on rhythm guitar. “Monocular” on the drums, and “Elsewhere” on the bass. Together as the horrific, but still dynamic squadron, Portal makes Outre’ sound like the sickest horror movie soundtrack ever made. Stemming instant inspiration from silent film adaptions of horror, Portal makes the sound come to life, only to let that sound die off in the near forty-minute run time.
Starting with “Moil,” Portal makes the introduction of Outre’ become an intense build where it feels as though a presence is coming closer and closer before hearing the first bit of authentic instrumentation from Monocular, Aphotic Mote, and Horror Illogium on the seguing notion into “Abysmill.” The drums are the spotlight, if there is one at all in Portal, as they continually pound and create the backdrop where the rest of the instrumentalists and the atmospheric style of subtle assault can continually shake until reaching the foreground. Portal is not exactly drone metal, but there are sections of Outre’ where they illustrate the characteristics of long, seguing, entirely repetitive sections where only one or two instruments are playing at a time. This goes back to how their sound is representative of a silent film where the atmosphere and the listener’s emotions go into making the environments of Outre’ truly come alive.
Portal are unpredictable and unrelenting, barely taking a single second to slow or even break their action apart. They constantly smash, crush, and pulverize their sound until there is nothing left. Outre’ is an experimental record that moves about like a snake, curving and contorting the listener into unknown horror that can only be described as Portal’s world of sound.