Thursday, February 20, 2014

Portman - The Man Who Carries a Light

While we are on a subject of enjoying one’s moment I thought to tell you a thing or two about one of my favorite albums of 2013.

Taken at album promotion gig at KSET 03Oct2013

Portman - The Man Who Carries a Light

I wrote about Portman before; when they supported Maybeshewill in Attack in 2012 and about album promotion in October 2013. and if you checked that out you it may seem to you that I like them very much - but, I would like to elaborate that.

From their promotional material one can learn that:

"Portman is instrumental trio from Našice. They work as a band from 2004. and they have released two albums in this period: Pereskesije (2009., Lady Records) and The Man Who Carries A Light (October 2013., Klub dostava zvuka and Lady Records). The Man Who Carries A Light was recorded at House of Pablo in Zagreb and it was recorded and produced by" no other than Leo Klaić, the man who has surely became my absolutely favorite Croatian music scene name (She loves Pablo, Elephant Stalker, Killed a Fox)." This album consists of 8 instrumental pieces in which, except basic post-rock sound, many other musical influences interlace - from stoner riffs to psychedelics and heavy metal vibes. Portman members also play in other bands like Hesperian Death Horse, Uthovar, Oprosti."

Also in their promotional materials one can read that: 

“The Man Who Carries A Light is an allegory of a man who is able to influence his environment and change the world to make it better. It is a man who did not lose hope, who kept his unyielding spirit, who did not give up on himself or on others. Song titles stem from the man himself, his environment and the difficult position in this bleak world in which materialism coerces him to abandon his values in the course of fighting for survival. Album is inspired by  man’s animal need for exclusively personal survival, with situation and unpromising position of individual in a world we live in. Song listing consists of two subgroups; first 4 songs (Put, Ris, Roj, Trn i.e. Road, Lynx, Swarm, Thorn respectively) are connected with man’s environment and nature, while second 4 (Sit, Srp, Krv, Rob i.e. Satiated, Sickle, Blood, Slave respectively) relate to the man himself and his struggle with existence and preoccupation with survival and power.”

I do not really see all that: the trouble, the survival, the loss of values - and if I weren’t told this story I doubt I would hear this in the music.

But I LOOOVE this album.

Absolutely love it.

I listen to it almost every day from when it was released and I love its metallic undertones under its post-rockish façade.

I love how it starts and how I can hear it in my lungs even when I only listen to it through the headphones. I love how the songs organically flow one into the other and I love how they are all so good I change which I like best at least three times a week. I love how they feel so unyielding and unapologetic and I love how I see the frontman’s face in my mind’s eye like an exquisite jewel of introversion - not really singling him out as a person but as a symbol of everything my inner introvert finds worthy of undivided awe.

I love how this is an immediate pick-me-up whenever I feel under the weather and demoralized.

I love how I can put it on and immediately forget that I work with people and all the disgust that goes with that.

And most of all I love how this is THE go-to album of a person raised on heavy metal who at some time gave up on finicky nature of lyrics and sailed into post rock voicelessness as onto an ocean of sincerity. 

Wait, what am I saying?! 

It seems that I actually DO see all that - the trouble, the survival, the loss of values - and that one CAN hear this in the music too.

Check it out. Enjoy.

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