# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Town Portal - The Occident

  by Keith How

published: 5 / 7 / 2015

Town Portal - The Occident
Label: Small Pond Recordings
Format: CD


Excellent second album from enigmatic Danish riff merchants Town Portal, which proves to be a kick up the backside for the post-rock scene

On the outer limits of post rock lesser known bands, having read and re-read the “Mogwai Handbook of Post Rock “ seek to forge their own pathway in the ever growing forest of instrumental music. Acts such as Grails, for example, explore a dark and slightly “heavy dub” trail while Forest Swords, (who probably would not consider himself “post rock”), concentrates on electronics and samples to great effect. Avoiding the pitfalls of recycling cliches becomes quite an achievement with any genre of music as exponents seek to refine their art. Town Portal follow up their debut album of two years ago 'Chronopoly' with the release of 'The Occident'. So what have Town Portal to offer? My heart kind of sank at the opening heavy riff that kicks off the album. More Nordic Metal thrash was my immediate thought but my fears were soon put to rest. 'Bonus Trigger' opens with the aforementioned massive riff but then, driven by some clever percussion, reveals some rather nifty time changes that grabbed my attention and made me sit up and listen. Some fine guitar work illuminates the proceedings to good effect. There is masses going on the title track and lots of odd rhythms and time changes, but at no time does the album fall into chaos and in fact the opposite is true. 'Eschaton' shows a real maturity. Malik Bistrup’s drumming reminded me of Bill Bruford and the mix leaves room for the guitars to breathe. Riffs and solos appear and disappear like a firework display illuminating proceedings then descending into darkness. 'Deep Error' tells another story, and opens with a slow chord sequence before moving into a second movement that flows like a river in flood. There is more here than meets the eye! Town Portal have been referred to as “Math Rock Wizards” but compositions such as 'Yes Golem' reveal that, while the complicated time changes and guitars may seem cold, these works somehow deny that label by being expansive, soulful and not at all self-indulgent. As if to prove a point 'Moon Treaty' is a gentle interlude conveying the ability of instrumental music to bring atmosphere and a sense of place to the listener. 'The Occident' will never be mainstream with those complicated time changes and considered orchestration but it is full of light and shade, and, while dense and intricate in places, is never inaccessible . A kick up the backside for the post-rock scene. Enjoy !

Track Listing:-
1 Bonus Trigger
2 Eschaton
3 Deep Error
4 K.
5 Yes Golem
6 Dream Bureau
7 Moon Treaty
8 World Core And Peripheral Islands

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