Review: Robot God ‘Portal Within’

Rock and roll. So many colours and styles. Mix and match, blend, stick to ya fave recipe. Ultimately, it all boils down to the same obsessive ‘tood. No right or wrong (‘less you claim The Beatles are the world’s greatest band!), just different philosophies. Throw a rockabilly beat into a straight-up dirty rock ‘n’ roll tune and you have a brand new kettle of monkeys at your disposal.

Robot God 'Portal Within' Artwork
Robot God ‘Portal Within’ Artwork

So, all this gasbagging leads me around to album number four by Sydney’s rockin’ stoner outfit Robot God. Veterans of the scene, and it shows in the execution of the songs on Portal Within. Thumping drums, the dirtiest bass tone since Lemmy checked out and screaming guitars, with the vox being split between bassist Matt Allen and guitarist Raff Iacurto. Chunkier riffs too, than on the third album.

Portal Within opens with the thirteen-minute Long Way Around, with the first half being instrumental (vocal-less??) before kicking in with some punchy riffage and aural assault.

I particularly dig the ballsy intro to the next track, Illusion Of Order, with shades of Unsane to it. Some interesting guitar parts too. All of which make it my pick of the litter on Portal Within. The brevity too, (only a mere six minutes; my concentration and ability to focus has gone outta the window since Mrs El Jefe’s departure!) kinda contributes to this, but it’s a chugging, hefty powerhouse of a song too.

a chugging, hefty powerhouse…

Title tune, Portal With, meanders through the first few minutes, with some guitar noodlings before locking into a harder-edged groove on this thirteen-minute instrumental epic. Part Morricone, part medieval rock and roll, the jangling intro to Nazare soon opens out into (yet another) chunky rock song. Lyrically, it’s kinda sparse but at the same time pointed. I love some of the meaty riffs on this one.

Overall, Portal With is a good heavy rock album with hints of a trippier, more melodic stance. Good songs, good playing, but (and I think I mentioned it a couple of years back in relation to the band’s previous album Worlds Collide) I reckon they would really benefit from having a great vocalist. Don’t get me wrong, the vocals are good but the whole sound could be taken to a new level. Although, to be fair, with the focus on the long jamming passages, stronger vocals may just muddy the waters.

Label: Kozmik Artifactz
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: El Jefe