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Contemplation and action - 90%

spiritechnology, June 1st, 2008

The Surrealists from Queensland returned, quite soon after their 2003 cacophony, Seepia, with an additional guitarist to deliver a new but short length release possibly hinting somewhat at what was in store from this band in the future in the form of increasing use of structure and adherence to boundaries.

The first track on this EP most closely resembles the heavily discordant Seepia album, although it is a little more focused in that many phrases take the listener in a sustained direction for longer before unravelling into the fragmented atonality and also sometimes rhythmic irregularity this band is known for. But then boundaries to the randomizing combination of elements are again erected around the phrases and the piece explodes forward with this traction once more enabling a sense of defined spacial direction. Similarly, but in certain of the not so completely discordant section of the piece, tones float above the sustained and rigid stream of percussion below in an ambient but slightly detached manner, akin to debris floating to and fro in a gentle river eddy as the current spills on right next to it, before being pulled back into a main flow of structure and pummelling onward down the musical stream.

The second and last 'metal' track on this release displays an even greater awareness from this band of what the human brain perceives as structure in music. Long and sustained phrases stretch in and out, almost as if reality is breathing, to create a majestic sway against the rigid and grounding use of percussion before again briefly exploding forward with profound force and then finally unravelling into disarray. A soundscape wraps up the EP.

This release is poignant for its ability to so vividly portray the human consciousness as it moves between the contemplation of all that it cannot achieve without an adherence to structure or design on the one hand, and a realisation of the sharp unfolding clarity and direction which suddenly emerges when those conditions are met on the other. All the sections in this release in which the stream of music forms a sustained metallic attack are amazingly majestic and energetic and embody sharp clarity and force. Highly recommended listening.

From Corrupt Australia:

Non Euclidian riffs force the stars right - 95%

Iron_Harvest, December 2nd, 2004

After the strong impact "Seepia" had, in addition to the bands horrific and bizarre live presence, I was truly looking forward to hearing this release.
Suffice to say, it dosent dissapoint, continuing the journey into dimensions of dissonant and challenging deathmetal. To those yet to hear Portal, that might conjure images of prog tendencies, but rest assured that the core influence on this music is Immolation-esque technical death metal, but played with a genuinely unique ethos and atmosphere....songs segue into harrowing darkambient moments, punctuated by the curious and unsettling rasp of the Curator...its a rare moment to find a riff which does not mutate or spin off into chaos,although this is less prevelent than its twisting effect than it was on seepia.

The Lyrical focus is once again H.P.Lovecraft and Brian Lumely (many of the allusions in all portal materiel to date involve the Titus Crow novels of the latter), but presented in such a way that it is never self-concious or humourous, but closer to the antique horror of the 1920's expressionist horror films a quick look at the bands website will testify are an influence.
Whoever is responsible for the lyrics also possesses a remarkable gift for odd manipulations of language, conveying disturbing implications by use of truly odd spelling and grammar.
Coupled with the excelent packaging, these features give "the Sweyy" a density and impact far in excess of the short run time and the fact that two tracks are live recordings of "Seepia" materiel.