Power of Metal.dk Review

The Portal Tapes
Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 23 March, 2012
Playing time: 45:25

After Cynic legendary “Focus” (1993), Sean Reinert, Paul Masvidal  and Jason Gobel recorded demos in 94-95 for a new project called Portal, with the bassist Chris Kringel, later member of Cynic, and Aruna Abrams (vocals, keyboards).

A step forward was only taken in 2004, with the releasing of three Portal songs on “Focus - the expanded edition”: “Endless Endeavors”, “Circle” and “Cosmos”.

I received in January 2012 an e-mailed newsletter from Season of Mist, announcing “The Portal Tapes” limited to 5000 CDs and 1000 vinyls. I sent my pre-order immediately. I have just received the digipack: see the big smile on my ugly face.

Portal has no death metal elements. The distorted rhythm guitar parts are standing back in the mix. The etheral side is the key...  of the portal. The style can be defined as progressive rock, with pop and fusion. Portal can be considered as the missing link between “Focus”, Ćon Spoke, Aghora and Cynic, since the band reformation in 2007. This fact, added to the quality of the music, makes “The Portal Tapes” essential.

Abrams’ voice goes well with Masvidal’s. I like especially her singing on “Mirror Child”, in total symbiosis with the guitar arpeggi and their chorus effects. It has been done before but it is working beautifully with this song.

In my humble opinion, Cynic should invite some lady vocalists for their next CDs. The list of possibilities could be huge. Why not Anneke van Giersbergen, Julie Kiss (To-Mera) or, let’s dream for a second, the queen of all queens: Kate Bush

So it is not Cynic but I can understand Season of Mist is releasing these finely produced demos under this name: any Cynic fan will want “The Portal Tapes” anyway. I would actually like to thank the French label for the great work they are doing with Cynic: do not see please any kind of nationalism here from my part...

01. Endless Endeavors
02. Karma's Plight
03. Circle
04. Costumed in Grace
05. Cosmos
06. Crawl Above
07. Mirror Child
08. Road to You
09. Belong
10. Not the Same
Label: Season of Mist
Distribution: Season of Mist
Reviewed by: Philippe Leconte
Date: 22 March, 2012
Website: www.cynicsphere.com