Album Notes: Portent – Dismal Deities

A series of posts to highlight select releases in the distro, track notes are written by the band members.

Distro: Album Page | Artist Page

Written by Portent

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Woven
A Fatalistic Ode! I was particularly taken with the idea of The Fates (the Moirai, the Norns, the Three Witches etc) spinning fate which is beyond our control and which ultimately leads to death.
Along with this there is the imagery of the spider who obviously also weaves – hence the title!
There are some references in the lyrics to the works of Knut Hamsun and Louis-Ferdinand Céline too. I thought them appropriate, as there is obviously some ‘existential’ pondering going on in this.
Musically I’d like to think that the riffs conjure this weaving, slightly off-kilter feeling, in a weird melding of Black/Death and Doom. I’m particularly fond of a section where we used a clean flange effect; although it is a fleeting moment I really like it. I think of the song as a bit of a journey leading to death, and I think this is reflected adequately in the last more doomy/burzumic section of the song.

Hollow Oaths
Thematically, this is quite a bitter song. It’s about the lies and empty words that spill forth from our collective wretched mouths nigh on incessantly. In that sense, it’s also quite misanthropic. I don’t think being misanthropic is particularly good or in any way something to be admired, but one doesn’t have to observe our species for very long to be disgusted.
There is also a lot of alchemical imagery played around with in this song. I’m interested in Medieval and Elizabethan occultism and alchemy, and it’s evident in some of the lyrics here. The Black Humours are strong!
Musically it’s one of the more obviously doomy numbers. I think it could bring to mind some early Katatonia and perhaps even early Opeth. I’m pleased with some of the bass parts on this song in particular as they really do add a lot. I think there really is a mournful Medieval/Elizabethan feeling in this one.

Paranoiac Invocation
This song is almost told from the perspective of one afflicted/gifted with “madness”. Obviously the Morbid obsession is high on the agenda again as well! A common theme in all of Portent.
Seemingly though, as the protagonist/I of the story has summoned paranoia/madness he is in conflict with himself and all of existence and the institutions of his confinement, both physical and mental.
He is gifted and afflicted with visual and auditory hallucinations, and as one who crosses boundaries, of sanity-insanity, he also summons Hermes. Hermes Thrice Greatest and Hermes the messenger of the Gods; the one who crosses boundaries, as he (the protagonist) has as well.
I try and make all Portent’s songs a journey, and this one is no different. It is slightly melodic in the latter part of the song, but also reflects the manic, deranged state of mind too. I think there is a bit of (early) Abigor in some of the riffs too.

Dismal Are Our Ways
I only became aware after writing this one, that it was very Lovecraftian. Perhaps a cliché in metal, but since I didn’t consciously write it about them, I will allow it, or perhaps the Ancient Ones will allow it! As well as that, there is also seemingly an invocation of the Black Sun. Once again, this was entirely unconscious, so I can only assume a “coincidence”/ synchronicity…! Once you begin paying attention to certain things, they pay attention to you?
This one talks about the cold indifference of the Void and those Beyond who care not for all our futile endeavors. Once again, mortality rears its head here.
Musically, this almost seems like a bit of a companion piece to the track ‘Cavern Shadows’, from my first self-titled demo. Both tracks are obviously more black metal than some of the others, but mid-paced with quite a melodic, slightly medieval feeling to it. This can be attributed to my adoration of Abigor. It also showcases some of the influence Ved Buens Ende and Virus have had on my guitar playing, particularly in the first half. I like how the bass guitar sticks out quite a lot during this track too.

Portent

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