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PORTRAITS blend thunderous riffs with anthemic vocals to bring back the essence of metalcore on new album “At My Darkest”

Finnish metalcore band PORTRAITS (members of Cleansing, Baron) have refined their sound of classic metalcore in the likes of Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying and Trivium, drawing from the base of heavy riffs and big, memorable choruses. Originally formed in 2011, the band members have spent their youth writing and playing music together in the form of multiple lesser releases and shows, until eventually regrouping under a new name to finish off writing their debut full-length.

After two years of composing new material, revisiting unused songs or ideas from the past, and everlasting studio sessions spread-out the summer of 2019 combined with music video shoots, At My Darkest, the album the band had always desired to make, was finished. The first single Hands of Guilt was released on the 29th of July with a music video, setting the tone for the upcoming full-length and the new direction for the band.

At My Darkest forms a tale of forgiveness, consisting of stories spread throughout a journey of self-awareness and guilt. When the only escape seems to lie somewhere deep within, you start to shape your reflection in a new manner. Realising you cannot cast aside your darker self, you’re forced to accept this co-existence and begin the struggle towards peace as equals. Learning to forgive, crawling towards a place you can call your own. – Mark My Words Records

Portraits’ debut album was released 22nd of September through Mark My Words Records accompanied by the preceding singles and a music video for the song Haze. Acting as the ending track of the album, Haze is the pinnacle of the story and is the most heartfelt set of lyrics; intended to remain open to the listener’s personal interpretation.

Portraits by Patrik Pesonen Photography

Portraits by Patrik Pesonen Photography

The concept for most of the songs and/or for the album as a whole was present even before the lyrics or the title were complete, therefore leading the final process. As the title settled in, the album began to shape up as more of a journey rather than a collection of songs. The tracks fell into their places on the album and the thoughts behind the songs turned into a coherent story.

𝐴𝑑 𝑀𝑦 π·π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘˜π‘’π‘ π‘‘ 𝑖𝑠 π‘Žπ‘› π‘–π‘›π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘ π‘π‘’π‘π‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘› π‘œπ‘“ π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘˜π‘’π‘ π‘‘ 𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑣𝑒𝑠, π‘ π‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘” π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿ π‘Ž π‘€π‘Žπ‘¦ π‘‘π‘œ 𝑏𝑒 π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘™π‘’π‘Žπ‘ π‘’π‘‘ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘š π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ 𝑔𝑒𝑖𝑙𝑑 𝑀𝑒 π‘π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ 𝑖𝑛 π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿ β„Žπ‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘ . πΏπ‘œπ‘œπ‘˜π‘–π‘›π‘” π‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘“π‘Žπ‘π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘šπ‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘™ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘šπ‘’ π‘ π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘–π‘›π‘” 𝑒𝑠 π‘‘π‘œ 𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑑 π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿ π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘’π‘ π‘‘ π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘š. 𝐴 π‘‘π‘Žπ‘™π‘’ π‘œπ‘“ π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘”π‘–π‘£π‘’π‘›π‘’π‘ π‘  𝑀𝑒 π‘Žπ‘™π‘™ π‘œπ‘€π‘’ π‘‘π‘œ π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ π‘’π‘™π‘£π‘’π‘ .

Dive into each and every track of this outstanding record through the track by track commentary below.

Mortal Frame

MOrtal Frame

And after this life of shame
I wonder if I could’ve changed
I sit back and rethink every choice I ever made

All the smiles I choked
All the pain I kept for myself
The mess of a man I had
somehow become

And it wasn’t all just for myself
I’m so sorry for you
I’m so sorry for the others
Who were hurt as I was lost in the pines
And I’ve never been so lost
So, as the silhouettes break
And the shadows turn into shades
All that is left is this broken heart
only I could have saved

This is a tale of forgiveness
This is my mortal frame
This is me at my darkest

Cleansing

Cleansing

Falling down
But what’s the reason in living like this?
To a point where we have lost ourselves
We’re all blind, fragile minds
A pack where no one survives

I am still searching for something new
I am still searching but it keeps holding me,
breaking me, pushing me against my heart

Are we forgotten on the burnt feathers of our wings?
Has this ignition been all down for nothing?
Washing away our legacy
Ending all suffering
This is the cleansing

And everything you’ll ever want it to be
This is the cleansing

The storm is closing in
And our fates are to be sealed
But my mind won’t settle down
While I’m able to go on

This is the cleansing
And everything you’ll ever want it to be
This is the cleansing

Parasite In Me

Parasite in Me

What has become of me
On my path I based on lies and greed?
When did I lose the pain
That once left me in shame?
A new direction, a new way out for me
I feel my shadow being torn
As my dark heart swallows it whole

Will I learn to forgive
Or am I stuck with all the blame?
Disguised
Will I learn to forgive
Or am I stuck with all the blame?
It will never be the same
Inside

Show me what I have done
I’ll try to make it right
β€˜Cause I’ve lost myself, will I ever be complete?
I know what I’ll have to be
And let go of this curse in me
β€˜Cause I’ve lost myself, will it ever be the same?

Casting aside this burden of mine
Towards a brighter path and clarity, is there still more
time?
To break free from everything, to lose this burning
sight?
To feel something that might be real?
I must begin, the end is nigh

I’m feeling numb again
Will it ever be the same?
Disguised
Dead inside
It will never be the same

Hands of Guilt

Hands of Guilt

Once more I shatter the pines
Ripping my wounds open wide
It all piles down to a sickening sight
Another wasted life

And it all just piles down
I never knew
What it could do
This is the darkest blight

I see the end
And it’s calling me again
I can’t take the guilt
How can I escape?
I see the end
And it’s calling me again
β€˜Cause there’s nothing left
But my final breath
This has to be the end
I hope you burn
As I’m strangled from the hurt

And with these hands of guilt
I sink into the depths
Of my darkest self
And with nothing else to give
These hands are ought to break
Leaving me in tears
As I fade away
We all suffer the same

Bleeding from within
Separating things I cannot feel
Bleeding from within
My true form is revealed

Disbelief

Disbelief

Broken & smashed into pieces
How did this all become pointless?
My life, the one that I’ve chosen
Fades away, turns to dust
I seek & seek for these answers
To finally see my true colours
My life, the one that I’ve chosen
Fades away, turns to dust

But I will never let this change who I am
This is the place where I lost my ways
But I will never let this change who I am
It’s time for me to make my peace

β€œCrawl through it all
You’ll live – just don’t give in”
I’ve been seeking the key in disbelief
These signs pointing me towards the light
I crawl, does this even matter at all?
I cannot do this anymore

Crawling slowly through it all
I cannot do this anymore
So what the fuck should I do?

Crawling through it all
Does this even matter at all?
Crawling through it all
I gave up hope

Mist

Mist

In the mist I see your vague face
I choke on the pain of my mistakes
No hope left for me in this place

In the mist I see your vague face
I wave goodbye as I fall from grace
No hope left for me in this place

The choice is placed into severed minds
And the distance between us
Keeps on growing even longer than I thought
Destination of this tale is yet to be defined
As my search for a purpose still carries on
Without a guide

Graven Image

Graven Image

It’s written on the walls
It’s written on the walls
My frail destiny calls

I’ve fallen yet again, and turned it all dark
Choked down the flame I held
So I could be set free
But can I reach the end in time to make this last
When nothing has ever stuck on my grasp?

The silence overwhelms me
Inside my head I’m torn
Torn asunder while hoping to meet my kin
Forever, unspoken
From this I cannot heal
But still trying to progress
And finally see

What it’s like to feel alive
It is written on the walls

I see it all from above
And I’ve never felt like this
Is it the end for me or have I started to heal?

As above, so below
Written on the walls

There’s still a bleeding that I need to somehow kill
Gasping out for air as I’m falling to my knees
But can I reach the end in time to make this last
While being haunted by the portraits of my past?

At My Darkest

At My Darkest

As I begin to thrive
in the cloud of forgiveness
It’s sharply stripped down
to a pile of nothingness

And how can I find solace
When everything has turned upside down?
I can’t help but to compare this to my past
All I know has become a black mass
Falling to my rest
Nothing’s like it used to be

But I keep holding on
I’m on my knees
Take it all away from me
But I keep holding on
And now I have a place to call my own

What did I learn from this?
Within myself I’m complete

And with clear conciousness
There comes a time
A time to feel like you just don’t belong
To be something you’re not supposed to be
And to feel alive
And I know I’m alive
Falling to my rest
Nothing’s like it used to be

And I keep holding on
I’ve found my peace
It won’t slip away from me
And I keep holding on
And now I have a place to call my own

Haze

Haze

I roam inside these thoughts I found
That shouldn’t have ever seen the light
I’m drowning, my lungs are caving in
Reach out and pull me out again

Pouring my shadow into these words I lead
As if they were ever mine to keep
Bound to these winds, I come to see
All of this is turning into a memory

Something calls me with a voice I can’t resist
Rearranging my thoughts to lonesome bits
False idols, hollow names, all meant for something else

In the mist I see your vague face
I choke on the pain of my mistakes
There’s no hope left for me in this place
As your eyes disappear to the haze

In the mist I see your vague face
I wave goodbye as I fall from grace
There’s no hope left for me in this place
As your eyes disappear to the haze

This guilt has buried me
To a state of malcontent
But can I be healed?
Even if I try, nothing’s enough

The choice is placed into severed minds
And the distance between us
Keeps on growing even longer than I thought
Destination of this tale is yet to be defined
As my search for a purpose still carries on
Without a guide

PORTRAITS blend thunderous riffs with anthemic vocals to bring back the essence of metalcore on new album “At My Darkest”
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