Nirvana once wrote a song called “Endless, Nameless.” Take a look at this picture of Portal’s lead vocalist, and then submit to the swirling, backed-up churn of “Orbmorphia,” from the Australian death metal band’s fourth album Vexovoid, and you may find yourself with an entirely new appreciation of what those two words can mean.
Portal, as a band, is all texture, no melody. But they have mastered so many different textures that you never think to yearn for melody. The down-tuned guitars, gurgling beneath the ever-shifting blastbeats of the drums, bring to mind all kinds of things, none of them musical: the alarming suck of wet mud when you walk in loose boots, the sounds old motorcycle engines make. The album title evokes a zone of confusion, a place where you can’t get your bearings and the ground is constantly shifting. Exactly.