Lying somewhere between Iron Maiden and In Flames there is Portrait and with their new release Burn the World they show while similar to other power metal bands, they stand aside on their own 2 feet with head’s held high. Crisp slashing guitars, soaring vocals and more old school cool than you can shake a stick at, Burn the World is a break from your standard metal and swallows you up in tunes knights and vikings would have loved to get hype to before tearing some foe limb from limb.
To call singer Per Lengstedt‘s vocals powerful is a wee bit of an understatement, they are pretty damn epic absolutely booming across these tracks. This guy could make a coven of banshees quit their day job and dust off their resumes. When backed by some serious shredding guitars, bass and drums lay down that beat like a jack hammer, one is swiftly reminded why “power metal” is called just that. Through each of these 9 tracks Portrait gives example upon example of why the kick so much ass.
After the deceptively chill intro track “Saturn Return”, all hell breaks loose right away with the speedy, hard hitting track “Burn the World”. That one song alone pretty much prepares you for what to expect, sick solos, stadium shaking vocals and a just all around ass kicking sound. The unadulterated groove of “Flame of Blood” is undeniable, if that shit doesn’t sink into your bones you might wanna check your pulse. Ushered in by some shredding that would make a wood chipper blush it just keeps ramping up until the very end, scarcely giving you a chance to catch your breath throughout.
The songs aren’t short and sweet usually ranging between five to seven minutes, sometimes just over but in this case that’s very much a good thing. Each song plays out like a heavy metal play, 3 acts all engrossing, all solid as steel. Even the track “Martyrs” which puts more emphasis on the raw fury of roaring guitars than vocals still feels wholly complete in it’s 7:46 minutes of badassdom. The one short track in the mix is “Further She Rode” a moody blend of acoustic strums and eerie swirls of sound that serves as a short respite from the battle charge that picks right back up where it left off. Ending in epic style the jut over eight minute track “Pure of Heart” wraps things up nicely combining elements of a just kick ass power metal track with the rare occurrence of power ballad qualities actually being good.
From top to bottom Burn the World just slays. Love epic vocals? They got you. Love sick solos and unapologetic shredding? Check that shit off the list. A bombing rhythm section that could wake the dead? Well ain’t that some shit they brought plenty of that too. Unveiling itself to the world August 25th be sure to mark that date on your calendar, set an alert on your phone and don’t be the schlub who misses out on this utterly sick album.
1.Saturn Return (Intro)
2.Burn the World
5.Mine to Reap
7.Further She Rode
8.The Sower’s Cross
9.To Die For
10.Pure of Heart
Per Lengstedt – vocals
Christian Lindell -guitars
Robin Holmberg – guitars
Fredrik Petersson – bass
Anders Persson – drums
Bloodrock Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 axes
Written by Ken Kaizer for Bloodrock Media on August 9, 2017