RECENT BUZZ & ACHIEVEMENTS:
'Blood Red Tape' received 4.5 stars in the Edmonton Journal, and 5 stars from Melodic.Net.
'Jebel Moon' will be on February's 'Big Rock Untapped Artists - Juno Compilation'
'Back in the Day' is currently in regular rotation on several stations across Canada.
Portal was Band of the Month on Sonic 102.9 in Edmonton in November.
'The Kingdom' reached #2 on the chart on Active Rock Radio in Warsaw, Poland in October.
'Your Kettle' was licensed for a game on the Wii console in August.
Portal is currently booking tour dates for February onward.
Portal is a propulsive amalgam of powerfully packaged grooves, insightful lyrics, and moralistic ideals. Intelligent by design and intellectual by nature, the band actively challenges listeners and members alike to demand more from music, more from society, and more from life itself. Portal deftly combines the progressive rhythmic complexity of Tool, the richly textured orchestration of VAST, the intricate production of Filter, and the raw emotive pull of Nine Inch Nails into a brilliant array of insightfully stimulating music, incorporating a rich tapestry of global instrumentation and a socially conscious lyrical motivation, into a truly unique sonic and psychosomatic experience.
A visit to Portal’s studio is not a typical look behind the scenes at the “rock-start” life style so often exuded by today’s young musicians. The posters of Maynard James Keenan and Trent Reznor, lava lamps casting predictable shadows across garage sale shag, and the musty aroma of “contemplative stimulation” are all noticeably absent in this particular cradle of creativity. Instead, the walls are adorned with maps and post-it notes, and servers and computer towers line the floor. With the exception of a few scented candles scattered across the desktops, at first glance one might think the business-like atmosphere a sterile environment for the cultivation of the mind, but the band insists that true inspiration comes from within, not from a contrived simulation of mood and emotion. If you’ve ever heard Portal’s music, it’s difficult to argue with them.
Portal began in 2000 as an exploratory outlet for founder and creative core, Kenton Thomas. Raised on classical piano, Kenton began developing technique and an appreciation for musical composition right from the young age of four, but it was not until his teen years that he started to explore the diverse world of popular music, eventually drawn in by the thriving west-coast grunge movement propagated by the Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, and Soundgarden. It was the latter of these that sparked Kenton’s initial interest in unorthodox time signatures and complex rhythms, now a signature of Portal’s sound, and drove his exploration deeper into progressive and ethereal realms, unearthing the likes of Tool and Nine Inch Nails, and gaining his first in-depth taste of the digital music revolution. Recording gear and time away from university were a natural next step, and a year of recording and developing material eventually yielded Portal’s first EP.
From the band’s first live performance, a second place finish at the University of Alberta’s Battle of the Bands in 2001, to their win at the Adopt-A-Band Independent Artist Challenge later that year, to being selected as a finalist in the 2002 National Songwriting Competition, Portal has continued to evolve, grow and mature. Despite various successes and setbacks, Kenton feels each and every step has been building towards this moment. Even Portal’s line-up was not solidified until last year when guitarist Rosco Brooks and drummer Bill George were added to the fold, but its current incarnation is the most capable yet. “The last four years have been an unforgettable voyage, but it’s really been more of an education than anything else,” says bassist and original member Kevin Hoskin. “For Portal, the real journey starts here.”
Blood Red Tape is, without a doubt, Portal’s most mature anthology to date, and one that Kenton and the band consider to be the first true representation of their visions and tastes. In an age when decisions are all-too-often governed by beaurocratic executives, disconnected pop producers, and the proverbial “bottom line”, the artistic integrity that Portal has displayed through their work on their latest album is an inspiring demonstration of a focussed dedication to one’s craft, and a meticulous attention to detail. Five years of growth and maturation, three years of creative development, and ten months of hard work have finally come to fruition. This is Portal, in the state of mind and environment they find most comfortable.
Kenton Thomas - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Programming, Percussion
Rosco Brooks - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Kevin Hoskin - Bass, Backing Vocals
Bill George - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Blood Red Tape (2008)
Element (EP) (2005)
Shallow (Feldano Remix) (Single) (2005)
The Vast Expanse Diminishing (LP) (2003)
A Taste of Things to Come... (EP) (2001)
Jebel Moon (Hacksaw Edit)
Back in the Day (Radio Edit)
The Simple Things
Hits Like an Atom Bomb!
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A 70-minute assault on the senses that demands attention and deserves it undivided... Blood Red Tape...A 70-minute assault on the senses that demands attention and deserves it undivided... Blood Red Tape's massive hooks, blasting drum beats and urgent political message hit like an atom bomb. ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 4½ / 5.
A Class of Their Own
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5 / 5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ... This release simply puts [Portal] in a class of th...5 / 5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ... This release simply puts [Portal] in a class of their own... The vocals are crisp and clean, Kenton Thomas delivers his low enigmatic voice perfectly in each incredible song... This is easily a pick for Album of the Year...
Insightful & Intelligent
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Kenton Thomas... is a far cry from matching the rock ‘n’ roll musician archetype. Insightful and int...Kenton Thomas... is a far cry from matching the rock ‘n’ roll musician archetype. Insightful and intelligent, [he] expresses his thoughts with sobering clarity and confidence.
Portal craft an essential 'Element' within rock music.
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Projects such as Portal are a rare but humbling proposition in the modern era..., delivering materia...Projects such as Portal are a rare but humbling proposition in the modern era..., delivering material written entirely for the sake of musical expression and achieving in the process the unthinkable - collections of songs which can meet the demands of those who wish to be challenged, while remaining accessible... for the hordes simply seeking the comfort of engrossing melodies within meticulously crafted songs.
A Brilliant EP
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“A brilliant EP. [Portal is] an extremely accessible group that will certainly gain the attraction ...“A brilliant EP. [Portal is] an extremely accessible group that will certainly gain the attraction of the masses if given the chance to reach them. This is intellectual man's rock with…thought provoking lyrics.”
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“Put simply, The Vast Expanse Diminishing is an incredibly intelligent album made by and for true mu...“Put simply, The Vast Expanse Diminishing is an incredibly intelligent album made by and for true musicians.”
“An intricate combination of driving metal and powerful, yet soothing melodies”
From Garageband to Indie Stars
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“The live line-up takes the songs and rips them apart, reconstructing them into edgy, in-your-face r...“The live line-up takes the songs and rips them apart, reconstructing them into edgy, in-your-face rock. If the past is any indication of the future, this is one band you won’t want to miss.”
A Smart Music
“One of Alberta’s brightest young bands.”
Portal has the ability to play up to 2 hours of original material, and more than 3 hours of covers depending on what a particular gig or venue may require. Typical sets may include the following:
A 45 minute set would typically consist of:
Stinkfist (Tool Cover)
A longer set (one hour or more) might include:
The Day We Came Together
Quicksand (Finger Eleven Cover)
At any given time, the band may be able to draw on a list of covers including (but not exclusive to) the following:
Aerials (System of A Down)
Alive (Pearl Jam)
Angel (Massive Attack)
I'm Afraid of Americans (David Bowie)
Judith (A Perfect Circle)
Killing In The Name (Rage Against the Machine)
My Own Summer (Deftones)
Pardon Me (Incubus)
Quicksand (Finger Eleven)
Send the Pain Below (Chevelle)
The Grudge (Tool)
Weak and Powerless (A Perfect Circle)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.