I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to describe Porta Nigra’s sound and style, the music awakes a turmoil of feelings and thoughts that are hard to grasp and translate into words. It is a bizarre, dark, feverish nightmare, that is melodic and strangely enjoyable. This is avantgarde black/dark metal wrapped in a gothic veil. But this quote from Debemur Morti Productions own description of the release is quite spot on: "...A dark and bizarre smorgasbord of degeneration, PORTA NIGRA draws inspiration from a myriad of sources to conjure a sound that has a life of its own."
If we look to the title Fin de Siècle and the imagery the band has created around themselves, Porta Nigra have managed to translate the essence of the degenerated mentality from the end of 19th century, when boredom, pessimism and decadence began to show in literature and arts, into music. I can easily imagine myself in a smoke filled room with heavy curtains blocking out any sun- or moonlight, where hazy silhouettes of well dressed bodies eat,drink and enjoy themselves, not caring for the world outside. Bodies lazily hanging in well padded chairs and chaises, slowly sipping liquor from delicate glasses, cigarettes smoking themselves in lifeless hands while internal monologues troubles the mind of its owner. Self loathing and self admiration going hand in hand.
Porta Nigra resides in Germany and the lyrics are both in German and English. The bands two members Gilles de Rais (Guitar and Bass) and O (Drums and Vocal) have managed to create something new, to me at least. I have to say that even though I like this album, it does give me an unsettling feeling in my guts. It must be the darker undercurrents that flows under the songs and the eerie dark lyrics. It is not music you listen to when you want to get in a good mood, that is for sure.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]