Fresh from Sweden hits us Portrait’s third longplayer ‘Crossroads’. The classic heavy metal underground heroes have undergone some line up changes since the release of their last album (i.e. David Olofsson replaced Richard Lagergren on guitar). Now with a new crew they unleash 8 new tracks. And there are no real surprises. ‘Crossroads’ is a strong album that should find a lot of friends among fans of classic heavy metal. Protrait’s sound is of course still heavily influenced by Mercyful Fate and King Diamond. Per Lengstedt’s vocals are just too close to the King to deny that. And it is the same as with King Diamond – you either love it or hate it. I decided to love it. Portrait are not replicating what Mercyful Fate did in the 80ies but give it a fresh tone, especially their sort of low-fi garage sound keeps it underground and heavy. Other influences on this new longplayer include also Judas Priest and sometimes even some Iron Maiden.
Songs like ‘At The Ghost Gate’, ‘We Were Not Alone’, ‘In Time’ and the nine-minute epic ‘Lily’ are straight forward heavy metal hymns that every fan of the classic 80ies era will bang her/his head to. With ‘ Black Easter’, ‘Ageless Rites’ and ‘Our Roads Must Never Cross’ Protrait show that they are more than capable of quite elaborate songwriting with more complex song structures.
I think we have a very strong contestant for the classic heavy metal album of the year with Portrait’s ‘Crossroads’. If you still cannot get enough of Mercyful Fate, King Diamond and Judas Priest go and check this one out.
8.5 of 10
By Event Command