Portal: Bringing edgar allan poe to the metal masses

One of the few modern metal bands to whom I pay close attention, Australia’s Portal are both lyrically and visually indebted to classic horror stories and films. Their music is a pummeling combination of black and death metal, filled with complex riffs played at breakneck speed. Despite the power, volume and speed, Portal manage to layer their songs with intricate and subtle melodic underpinnings.

The video for “Curtain”, released a year ago today, is a grimly beautiful adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “The Conqueror Worm”. Even if you don’t like Portal, and many/most will not, the visuals are worth a look.

Here’s a professionally shot video to give you an idea of the Portal live experience

from the highly recommended metal mag/site Chips and Beer: The Top Ten Most Ridiculous Things Written on The Internet About Portal This Month

The Conqueror Worm
Lo! ’t is a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly—
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Wo!

That motley drama—oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout,
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.

Out—out are the lights—out all!
And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.