Review 1819 : Porta Nigra – Weltende – English

Porta Nigra will amaze you.

Formed in Germany in 2010, the band led by Tobias (guitar/bass/composition, ex-Membaris), André Meyrink (vocals, Chaos Invocation, ex-Crescent) and Jöschu Käser (bass/drums, Aara, Forgotten Tomb, Malphas, Thron…), then announced in 2023 Weltende, their fourth album, on Soulseller Records.

They are accompanied by Kraal (vocals), Stefan Hofmann (guitar), John Never (keyboards) and Anna Maren (vocals/violin).

The album kicks off with Es ist Krieg, an opening track with a relatively mysterious introduction which lets the musicians go wild all at once, throwing riffs and screams at full speed. A few slower, more majestic parts add to the heavy ambience, but fury dominates the sound as on Götterblut and its frenetic rhythm which perfectly fits the vocalist’s fast-paced delivery. Ominous clean vocals complement screams and scathing leads, followed by Völkerbrand’s catchy approach which incorporates effective Black/Death Metal elements to strengthen its outpouring of rage, but also impressive keyboards creating a contrast with the cold but heady melodies of Verlorene Paradiese, which quickly turn into eerie bursts. The band is very aggressive again on this track, but it allows us to take a breath with Bestienschlund, the shortest track of this album, which consists of a haunting melody lasting over three minutes over which a sampled voice tells us its story, in German like every vocals. The waves of raw jerky strength begin again with Die himmlische Revolution, which borrows Industrial influences to create its fast driving sounds, under which the vocalist has a field day between two shrilling leads, before Weltende displays its musical pessimism. Although I still don’t understand any German, it’s easy to feel this is by far the heaviest track, alternating massive vocal parts with cries of despair under a shifting rhythmic pattern. The strange final lets the vocal sample accompany us through to Triebgeschwärme and its heady leads, which punctuate rantings under a solid, catchy rhythm which propels us on to the dark quietude with which Hora Mortis, the final composition, begins, quickly adorned with raw saturation to complete its hypnotic sounds, plaintive choruses and melancholy orchestrations.

While Porta Nigra‘s most important influences can be found in Extreme Metal, there’s no doubt that the band doesn’t hold back in granting Weltende unexpected, melancholic and disquieting tones to bring its oppression to life.


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