Portal | The Vast Expanse Diminishing

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Metal/Punk: 90's Metal Rock: Hard Rock Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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The Vast Expanse Diminishing

by Portal

Portal dives head first into realms of musical complexity and provocative intellectual stimulation that few artists ever dare. I guarantee you've never heard a band like this before. - Erika Madsen, Madsen Avenue Promotions
Genre: Metal/Punk: 90's Metal
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Severance
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4:59 $0.99
2. Remnants
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6:23 $0.99
3. Insurgent Few
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6:49 $0.99
4. The Paradigm
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4:33 $0.99
5. Alone
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7:30 $0.99
6. A Cleansing Breath
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3:22 $0.99
7. It's Time We Let Go
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7:03 $0.99
8. Cathexis
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4:11 $0.99
9. The Fallen
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7:10 $0.99
10. With You
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7:38 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Portal's New CD, "Element" - HTTP://WWW.CDBABY.COM/PORTAL3
Portal's Full Catalogue - HTTP://WWW.CDBABY.COM/ALL/PORTAL

Portal is a vessel - a corporeal incarnation of progressive musicality and esoteric introspection - for which Thomas is both heart and soul. It is, however, the tangible aspects of a band that allow its music to be shared with audiences, and Portal's somatic element is far from a one man show. Portal is a foursome of free-thinking individuals, each actively seeking to challenge themselves and their listeners through intense and provocative performance. Drawing inspiration from such varied influences as progressive metal, trip-hop, and good old-fashioned rock and roll, the band has developed a sound transcendent of trends or labels - a propulsive hybrid destined to flourish, with or without a mainstream market appeal.

The band's first full-length studio recording, The Vast Expanse Diminishing, is an emphatic demonstration of this collective resolve. A dark carnival of moods punctuated by progressive structures and unparalleled musicality, it is a brilliant testament not only to Thomas' gifted craftsmanship, but also the exceptional talents of the Portal collective. The album was recorded with studio time the band won at the 2001 Adopt-A-Band Challenge in their hometown of Edmonton, Canada, and from the pre-production stage onward, breaking barriers was the intent. Structures were redefined and timing eviscerated, their successors meticulously interwoven with incisive lyrical mantras, and placed on a bed of emotionally charged requiems. The result is a sobering sacrament for listeners raised on predictability and repetitious clichés.

From the progressive genius of the lead track, Severance, which won acclaim at the National Songwriting Competition in 2002, to the edgy, echo-chamber lament, With You, The Vast Expanse Diminishing undulates with a raw complexity, skilfully harnessed by the band's members and packaged into a seamless collection of groove-laden tunes. Riding the strength of surging anthems like Insurgent Few and Remnants with their pulsing intimations of electronic menace, and the beautiful lifting melodies of A Cleansing Breath and its epic counterpart It's Time We Let Go, Portal delves into realms of rhythmic intricacy few artists ever dare.

"It's easy to sink below the surface in a sea of six-billion faces," says Thomas. "You have to find your niche. And, if our niche is to be the band that budding intellectuals with an appetite for edgy, progressive, electro-rock listen to when they're hungry to expand their vocabulary and feed their minds, then so be it."

In an era dominated by over-hyped redundancy and catch-phrase frenzies, Portal's latest effort strikes a knockout blow for the things that really matter: for marvellously packaged creativity, for having an opinion, and most of all, for the true art of music. With an agenda so infused with artistic integrity and passion for their craft, Portal is destined to be, for many years to come, "the vast expanse diminishing."


to write a review


Unbelievably, Incredibly Amazing!
It's amazing-the lyrics, the sound, everything. Very unique. I am a big fan of A Perfect Circle, and my favorite CD ever is Thirteenth Step. After hearing this, Portal is now up there on my list with APC, two days after I got this cd, I came back and ordered A Taste of Things To Come. I recommend this album to anyone.

Robby Scott

A genre of its own
Great music, a perfect blend of all instruments with vocal melodies. An absolute must buy if you are a big fan of Tool.. because Tool is in a category of their own (best band ever!). Seriously, I was greatly rewarded with this purchase and will buy all the cd's to come from these guys.. Awesome music

B Mason

This cd sould be in every collection
very creative, a fine collection of ear candy


Portal is ABSOLUTELY worth checking out!
You listen to the first track and think...this is good, then you listen to track #2..wow this cd rocks! All of these reviewers cannot be wrong. This album is AWESOME! BUY IT!


Portal of Sound
At one’s first experience of Portal, the seasoned listener could easily make comparisons to Tool. And while the influence of the latter is apparent, after spinning ‘The Vast Expanse of Diminishing’ for the second or third time, it becomes quite obvious that the Canada based quartet are clearly their own band, decisively surpassing similar artists such as Onesidezero and the more commercially seated Chevelle.

Portal’s front man, Kenton Thomas, can only be best described as a dichotomy. In semi-tradition, most acts would choose to deliver Portal’s intelligently written lyrics of inner turmoil and mystery using the lowbrow aggressive fashion that’s more or less the trademark of this genre of music. But Thomas’s approach is adeptly attuned to a relaxed and almost nonchalant croon that inspires a cornucopia of different emotions blossoming the true meaning behind the group’s craft.

With that noted, Thomas isn’t Portal’s only pro. What’s equally impressive resides in the slick musicianship surrounding his amazing voice. Edgy and innovative guitar cuts, striking baselines, and a drummer that could possibly double for a schizophrenic octopus are what almost complete the album’s memorable resonance. In all that’s mentioned, one would ask, “What’s left?” Ironically, the final touch of near perfection didn’t come from the studio, but rather in it’s exact opposite. Portal’s songs never stray from being genuinely raw, something that so many artists lack these days in the ever increasing excessive use of audio polishing ‘bells and whistles’ that often contribute to the over production of an album.

That isn’t the case when it concerns this group of lads still trying to pave their journey in the music industry. For Portal’s only real shortcoming is that nobody knows who they are.


Really great CD
I really enjoyed this CD, They sound really tight and the songs are just great :)


Among the best cd's of the year!
Now you may very well be sceptical about a statement like the one above, but it is all too true. Of all the great music I have heard over the past year, old and new, this album stands out as one of the best. The music is solid, the lyrics are interesting ... it grips you every way that good music should. So, with that, if you haven't bought this cd - buy it now, or within ten seconds. And if you have ... well, tell someone you know how great this is.


A great band
Incredible lyrics for a magnificent music. Advisable for all the lovers of the good music.

Both discs.


Hear this CD. Definitely.
I can just add my voice to the other reviews. Portal's style isn't what I usually listen to - I'm more of a death metal man - but this CD is enthralling, essential listening. Music both thoughtful and visceral. Very cool. Should be heard and digested at length.

Matty D

Unique and Technical
Portal's technical ability and song writing skills really impressed me on this album. There are some really interesting pieces of timing and riffing on this album that make it well worth a look. But there is a side to this album that i personally can't seem to get my head around. I understand that lyrics for most songs are generally a personal thing, or tend to cater to a certain mood etc. and should not be criticized, But the lyrics on this album read as if someone looked through the dictionary and found a thousand words that most people wont understand, and then they were thrown together one after the other in a rhyming string of incoherent psycho babble. kind of like when one of your mates is on acid and is saying heaps of stuff that makes no sense, but he thinks he's solved the meaning of life. Don't get me wrong though, the lyrics sound really cool in the songs, they roll around very well and sit tight amongst the rhythm. The only bad thing about them is that no matter how many times i listen to the songs, they can never really mean anything to me other than being a song that i think sounds cool, It's very difficult to connect with. But don't get me wrong, this is still a 4 star album, because even if i can't relate to it, it still sounds extremely good.
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