Portrayal of Guilt
Let Pain Be Your Guide (Gilead Media)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Nov. 23, 2018
Live, this Austin foursome affixes "post" to a fistful of punk variants and beats them into a progressive screamo squall. Portrayal of Guilt stops, starts, and shrieks on a MF dime. Serrated by extreme metallurgy throughout debut full-length Let Pain Be Your Guide, their coiled hardcore rampages resolutely and absolutely. Elongated opener "Daymare," which at 4:40 previews the entire sonic spectrum of 10 tracks that clock in at just 22 minutes, glides and lurches a stylistic gamut from post-rock pointillism to both black and death metal vocal excoriation. The succeeding "Among Friends" also moves the needle from an American underground delivery to pure Norwegian screech. Midpoint LP peak "Your War" guests grindcore from Full of Hell's Dylan Walker, while closers "Death Is Gentle" alternates atmospheric minimalism with bloody murder and "Until We're Dust" bookends the disc with the same stylistic virtuosity crowning this maniac attack. In between, the 30-second title statement sounds like someone loosened a digital critter into your iron lung, and fellow instrumental "The Hunger" huffs Seventies synth dread. Like both, Let Pain Be Your Guide proves as fleetingly unforgettable as Portrayal of Guilt itself.