Portrait is a Swedish Heavy Metal band that has really carved their niche for the occult, horror, and satanic themes in a way that's usually just reserved for Black Metal. With the band's latest album, Burn The World, coming out August 25th through Metal Blade Records, the band represents the evils of metal channeling the likes of Dio, Mercyful Fate, and Manowar, but raising the bar just a tad bit more in all aspects. I had the opportunity to ask guitarist and songwriter, Christian Lindell a few questions to talk about all things Portrait. Check it out!
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. For those that may not be familiar, describe Portrait.
Hello. We are a Swedish heavy metal band that started out 11 years ago. One of our goals is to show that heavy metal is still relevant, has always been so and will so forever remain. There is no nostalgia in it, but instead it is a genre that is constantly expanding, which is a fact that we want to underline through our music and lyrics.
The brand new album from Portrait, Burn The World, comes out August 25th through Metal Blade. What went into the process for making the new album?
When it comes to writing music, it is something that I take very seriously and I put everything into it. There is inspiration coming from inside that I can not put into words only, but the addition of music helps to channel the inspirational source towards a desired and worthy outcome. Thus it is hard work, as it always has been, but it is something that also must come naturally and not be forced or pushed forward, as that would only result in shit. There is a depth to our music and lyrics and for each release we have managed to explore it further, so in other words the new album is to us a natural continuation of our previous efforts and we have expanded upon every aspect of Portrait's music, which to me resulted in our most dynamic album so far.
Burn The World has that classic Portrait sound and production down perfectly. Was recording the album an easy process or was there any problems along the way?
As two members quit during the writing process, the three of us remaining got to put even more effort into it all as we recorded it as a three-piece. But there were no huge problem in the way other than some technical issues that always seem to pop up when recording. We all had the same visions about the outcome and we continued until we were completely satisfied.
With 4 albums down, how easy or hard is it for you to write new riffs for Portrait?
It has always come naturally to me and I am convinced that it will continue in that way as I have gotten more and more inspired for each album written. The band's development in itself is a very good source of inspiration for me.
You have released the title track and as of today, Martyrs, from the album so far. What has been the reception to the songs?
From what we have seen the reception has been very good, especially from those already familiar with the band. It is nice to see the reception of course, even if in the end the only thing that matters is that we are satisfied ourselves.
With 4 albums under the band’s belt, how do you feel about the band’s progression since 2008’s Self Titled album?
I think that we have taken things further with every release, when it comes to both song writing, performance and production. I still enjoy our older stuff and most releases are good representations of where the band stood at the specific time etc.
Metal Blade has been supporting you since 2011’s Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae, how does it feel to have your 3rd album release with Metal Blade?
It feels great and we are very satisfied with their co-operation. For sure it is nice to be on a label that have so many classic metal releases in their back catalogue.
What’s next for Portrait?
We hope to do as much touring as possible during the autumn and also next year. We will soon start to write new material as well, and have some plans of doing some smaller release like a 12" EP or so to release during next year.
What do you like to do when you’re not focused on Portrait?
I am interested in occultism and witchcraft, and I like to read and I watch a lot of movies. All these things are also in some way connected to Portrait though, as a lot of inspiration comes out of it.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview to promote everything going on in the world of Portrait. Before we are done is there anything else you would like to mention that I haven’t brought up yet?
We will try to make it to the US and Canada during this album cycle, so any interested promoters should get in touch for possible bookings during 2018. Hail and kill!
Portrait- Burn The World is available August 25th through Metal Blade