credited: Kriss Hades
I won’t spend an inordinate amount of time propping up Portal here. You can read my review of their upcoming release Vexovoid which details the reasons why I have such a great amount of respect for the Australian experimental death metal musicians. Safe to say that when the mystique is a large portion of the appeal, the prodding questions of a curious writer might be considered hazardous. I found, however, that the brevity here is simply another testament to Portal’s unflinching authenticity and dedication to the music and the coming darkness. I had the opportunity to ask guitarist Horror Illogium a few questions concerning this as well as what makes Portal find its way.
My first question is in regard to the process or journey Portal takes in creating its art. What does this process entail? Do you find that the process has evolved since the group’s inception, or has it remained relatively the same?
It has been the same since the beginning, the music is constructed on guitar and everything else is built around it, vocals are placed last.
What is the most vital component of the compositional process for Portal?
What led you on your musical journey to create the art that you do?
Music is the most potent form of ritual, it enables us to feel more than humanly possible.
In a culture that is obsessed with image, Portal seems to emphatically resist that notion and embrace the music and sound itself as the image. I’m curious as to how the band personally values the concept of aesthetic in music and how (or if) that affects the compositional process.
It is completely secondary to any of the creative processes of the music. The imagery unconsciously manifests itself when it comes time to perform live; it has no effect upon the compositions. The aesthetic serves us on stage only.
Much of what is considered to be “heavy metal” concerns itself with the darker perspectives of life and human existence. Are there certain things that work as catalysts for Portal to achieve the level of horror in your music?
The oppressive feeling of horror and dread, sensory hunger.
What were the specific influences behind the creation of Vexovoid – such as literature, achievement of certain levels of consciousness, experiential nuances, etc.?
Too many to list over that period of creation, on a personal level a Funeral of an associate in darkness brought forth overwhelming inspiration to get in touch beyond the Curtain of death, as well as constant night terrors/sleep paralysis which have been ongoing for many years.
What do you personally see as the most challenging aspect facing anyone attempting to create viable art in the 21st century? How would one avoid or overcome those challenges?
Immersion is the key to make great art, the largest challenge is fighting the mundanity of life and existence - going against the grain is compulsory.
Many thanks to Horror Illogium and to the rest of Portal for their time.