Plunge deeper into the deranged world of PORTRAYAL OF GUILT with DEVIL MUSIC, the latest EP from the Austin-based trio. In the wake of releasing two full-length records in 2021 - We Are Always Alone and CHRISTFUCKER - they followed up 2022 with a year of relentless touring. In the middle of their frantic schedule, the band took time to draft the five new songs that would make up Devil Music with Viva Studios’ Matt Michel (Majority Rule) in Virginia. They then took their creative vision to the next level with Ben Greenberg (Uniform), by tracking alternate versions of each song with orchestral arrangements in place of the three piece’s standard instrumentation.
On Devil Music, Portrayal of Guilt’s goal is to create a visceral listening experience. On either version of these songs, whether it be the a-side’s more familiar heaviness or the orchestral b-side takes, the band is determined to drag the listener with them through what feels like a reckoning. Lyrics on songs like the opener “One Last Taste of Heaven" feel burdened with a sense of finality - “I’ve carried this body for miles... I lay the angel on the wooden pyre / before taking one last taste of heaven” feels as heavy as the blackened guitar riff refraining throughout the song. Through other songs like the intense “Burning Hand” (complete with it’s hypnotizing post-punk bridge) or the epic title-track closer, the imagery of King’s lyrics is an unapologetically grotesque examination of loss, exhaustion and suffering - brought fully to life by illustrator Ben Robert’s cover art for the release.
These songs are yet another example of Portrayal of Guilt pushing the limits of their sound into more extremes. Since their inception they have been challenging the boundaries of genre, taking elements from screamo, blackened metal, grind and industrial music to make something uniquely unsettling and expertly-crafted. Devil Music feels like the soundtrack to a future-less future, one where either path you tread is destined to lead towards ruin.
Tracklist: 01. One Last Taste of Heaven 02. Untitled 03. Burning Hand 04. Where Angels Come to Die 05. Devil Music 06. I (One Last Taste of Heaven) 07. II (Untitled) 08. III (Burning Hand) 09. IV (Where Angels Come to Die) 10. V (Devil Music)
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