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Portrait: Crossroads

Seems to be the 'in' thing these days to channel classic Mercyful Fate, so lo and behold here comes Sweden's Portrait, whose third album (and first for Metal Blade) Crossroads follows the path of other modern acts such as Ghost, The Oath, In Solitude, and Noctum by paying tribute to Melissa and Don't Break the Oath era Fate. Lead vocalist Per Lengstedt can hit those piercingly high notes as well as the gruff mid range just like King Diamond, and the twin guitar attack of Christian Lindell & David Oloffson churn out tasty riff after riff as well as boatloads of weaving harmony lead guitar work. "In Time", "Our Roads Must Never Cross", and "Black Easter" sound so close to vintage Mercyful Fate it's uncanny, while "At the Ghost Gate", "Ageless Rites", and the progressive tinged "Lily" are just pulverizing, epic metal songs no matter how you slice it, the latter even hinting at Manilla Road a tad.

Despite the more than obvious references to, well, you know who, Crossroads is actually a damn fine album, a kick ass collection of old school metal songs that are memorable from the very first listen. In the end, that's what it's all about, so a big two thumbs up for this one.

Track Listing
1) Liberation
2) At the Ghost Gate
3) We Were Not Alone
4) In Time
5) Black Easter
6) Ageless Rites
7) Our Roads Must Never Cross
8) Lily

Added: April 17th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2420
Language: english

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