ALBUM REVIEW: Burn The World – Portrait

Three years on from the release of Crossroads Swedish heavy metallers PORTRAIT are back with their third studio album, Burn The World.

The new record begins with a short instrumental track, Saturn Return, with the sound gradually growing in volume before orchestral vocals begin and the introduction of an organ – it almost sounds as if it has just come from one of the Star Wars films.

It flows into the title track, which opens with a fast tempo riff from guitarist Christian Lindell, and kicks into the beginnings of a typical heavy metal track. The riffs continue to grow with the track slowly picking up pace before suddenly slowing down and going into a solo, rapidly picking up pace once again as the screams of Per Lengstedt signal the start of the vocals. The track itself echoes similar sounds from the likes of JUDAS PRIEST, particularly the vocals, but is a solid effort for a title track.

The overall sound is pretty much the same throughout, with PORTRAIT showcasing just what heavy metal is all about, but each track is different enough that you can identify each one easily after listening to it enough times. The only track which is completely different from the rest on the entire record is Further She Rode, which is an acoustic instrumental lasting just under two minutes. It’s not entirely clear why this particular track is on the record – it doesn’t follow on from the previous track and doesn’t lead into the next, but is just there in the middle of the album. Whether it’s to give listeners an opportunity to rest their ears before kicking right back into the swing of things is unclear.

Apart from that there isn’t really too much more to say about Burn The World. The problem when you get a band like PORTRAIT whose focus is on the classic style of heavy metal is that it is very hard to be unique. There’s no point reinventing the wheel, but each band has their own sound and as a result they try to record as many tracks in a similar fashion.

Anyone who picks up a copy of the album or hears any of the tracks online will know that this is a heavy metal album through and through, there’s no question about it – but that’s it really, it’s just another heavy metal album which will go alongside the hundreds of other records released across the world.

That’s not taking anything away from the quality of the record. The overall sound is well put together, the vocals are on point and it is a true showcase of classic and modern heavy metal combined into one. On the whole, PORTRAIT have recorded a good, solid record and it is definitely well worth a listen, and will be a good addition to any heavy metal collection.

Rating: 7/10

Burn The World - Portrait

Burn The World is set for release on August 25th via Metal Blade Records.

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