Canada's Portal Releases Progressive Metal Masterpiece

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Canada's Portal Releases Progressive Metal Masterpiece

Postby glassonyonpr » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:01 am

8/10/2009 - Canada - The music world is buzzing with the release of 'Blood Red Tape'; a seventy-minute progressive rock album recorded and produced over a three year period by progressive metal band Portal in Edmonton, Canada. 'Blood Red Tape' is a synthesis of two broad concepts into one unique perspective. The title combines the "red tape" often associated with bureacracy and impedence to progress, with the "blood" that is all-too-often shed when the former brings harm to those involved. On a deeper level, 'Blood Red Tape' may be used to describe the bureacracy that exists within each of us, as members of the animal kingdom who are resistant to change and new ideas, and fearful of the unknown.

"Portal was a studio project of mine that slowly evolved out of an initial purchase of Cubase and subsequent random experimentation in by bedroom in my first year of university," says band leader Kenton Thomas, who is also lead vocalist, producer and plays guitar. "I had finished my piano studies a couple=3 D2 0of years earlier and picked up guitar, and needed an outlet. After a year and a half learning the ropes, I finally settled on a name, brought in some musicians I knew, and we finally hit the stage in January of 2001. The current line-up has been together for the last four years, with me and Kevin Hoskin (bass, recording engineer) as the only two original members." Along with Kenton and Kevin, Portal features Ross Brooks on lead guitar and backing vocal, and Bill George on drums.

"Kenton Thomas... is a far cry from matching the rock ‘n’ roll musician archetype. Insightful and intelligent, [he] expresses his thoughts with sobering clarity and confidence." - Bryan Saunders, Vue Weekly

Portal's 'Blood Red Tape' represents a fusion of hard-rock, contemporary electronic elements, and a plethora of orchestral and ethnic instruments from all corners of the world, bound together in forms typical of classic progressive journeys. "I wouldn't go so far as to call it a 'concept album'," explains Kenton, "but this is the first time I've developed a CD from the top down - album title first, song themes second, lyrics third. So I guess every song has to do with 'Blood Red Tape' in one way or another, but even the meaning behind the title broadened and deepened over three years as we progressed through things."

Here's what the music press have been saying about Portal's new opus:

"In addition to Marillion's new record 'Happiness' is the Road there's another record pu blishe d this year you have to buy: 'Blood Red Tape' by Portal from Canada. This is one hell of a progressive metal record, one of the best records I've ever listened to, really. Get it now!" -

"A 70-minute assault on the senses that demands attention and deserves it undivided... 'Blood Red Tape's massive hooks, blasting drum beats and urgent political message hit like an atom bomb." - Francois Marchand, The Edmonton Journal

"This release simply puts Portal in a class of their own... The vocals are crisp and clean, Kenton Thomas delivers his low enigmatic voice perfectly in each incredible song... This is easily a pick for Album of the Year..." - Troy Kramm,

A number of musical influences permeate Portal's wall of sound "Well, we've obviously each got our own favorites," says Kenton, "but I think it's fair to say a good umbrella for our earliest loves would be the early 90's grunge movement - everyone can count at least one west-coast or alternative band from that era among their favorites, from Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots to Smashing Pumpkins and the Chili Peppers. Everything else sort of stemmed from there. I've got a classical background myself, so I experienced a fairly natural progression into more progressive acts like Tool and Porcupine Tree from there, and I think the nature of Portal's roots as a studio project, where I quickly learned to love mixing and production, was probably the gateway to my love of the more electronic ele ments,=2 0a la=2 0Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack, and Depeche Mode a little further back."

"We try to create music that allows for several layers of appreciation", explains Kenton "If we write around an odd time signature in an effort to challenge ourselves, we want to go the extra mile to make sure it still grooves for the average listener. If there's a deep, complex message I'm trying to convey in the lyrics, I want to brand it with a catch phrase that's easily accessible to everyone. I love studying progressive music, but you don't usually toss in your favorite Dream Theater CD while driving to the beach with a bunch of friends - somewhere along the line someone's going to drop a 16th note and ruin your groove. I guess we're trying to bridge that gap. We want to write music that sounds appealing to the masses, but has an inherent underlying complexity that challenges us, and makes the music worth listening to, and even studying, for those seeking more."

Portal completed their first mini-tour this past February - six dates in nine nights from their hometown of Edmonton to Seattle and back. The response was none less than phenomenal. "It was a great time, and we may do it again in the future." And what does the future hold for Portal? "Short term, we're still catching up on a little infrastructure that fell by the wayside while we were recording 'Blood Red Tape' ", says Kenton. "The website(s) need a little content-boost, and there are countless promotion al avenues20yet to b e unearthed. We've got some B-sides and remix ideas in the works, too, which we'll begin exploring over the next few months, and when time and money permit, we'll probably start moving forward on some new material. One way or another, though, Portal will continue to grow in quality and scope and continue to make music for years to come."

Portal's 'Blood Red Tape' can be purchased from, CDBaby, iTunes and the band's official websites. For more information:
album -
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Postby Soloud » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:22 am

I've had this cd since it came out - and I love it. All of their cds are really great.
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