Blood Red Tape – The New Portal Album

Last week at the ASHES dIVIDE show I had the pleasure of getting my hands on a pre-release copy of Portal’s new album entitled “Blood Red Tape”. For those of you who don’t know, Portal is a Progressive Hard Rock band from Edmonton, and in my opinion one of the best Prog Rock bands in Canada. They’ve been around for about 7 or 8 years and we actually had the honor of playing with them back in 2006, although it wasn’t until recently that we we’re formally introduced to one another.

I remember when I first moved to Edmonton in 2002, I picked up a copy of The SEE Magazine (I had no idea what it was at the time) and as I was reading through it I saw an Ad for a show that Portal was playing at RED’s. I was so removed from the scene at the time that I had no idea who they were, and I was so broke I couldn’t even go to the show. I did however manage to go online and hear some of their music. And from that moment, I was hooked to their unique style of aggressive intelligent music, and I was in awe to think that such a good band was from Edmonton.

All that aside, I have to say, “The New Portal Album is FUCKING AMAZING!” I can’t even begin to explain how well put together “Blood Red Tape” is. It has been years in the making, and it was worth every ounce of energy they put into it. It is some of the best production I have ever heard and it stands up to any signed acts recording production. I am still totally mesmerized from the production alone, the tunes themselves on top of it just add to the awesomeness of the record.

The songs are exactly what you would expect from the evolution of Portal. From 10 minute epics to straight up rock in your face tracks this album has everything a fan of hard rock could ask for. The album keeps you full of suspense and anticipation for whats to come while pounding you to the ground with fat guitar riffs, supreme vocals and amazingly heavy/complex drums, only to come full circle and show you the melodic style Portal has been known for.

By far my favorite aspect of the album is the replay factor. The songs are done in such a way that every time you listen to them you get to hear a little more within the songs that you didn’t catch the first time around, it makes you want to listen to the songs over and over and over. Needless to say, this is one of the best albums I have heard all year… And I don’t mean best album from an indie band, I mean best album all around. But shit, don’t just take my word for it, go take a listen yourself:

And if you’re in Edmonton I highly suggest you come out to Portals “Blood Red Tape” CD Release Party on September 20th at the Jet Nightclub (the old Kings Knight Pub).


Shane Lamotte

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