Has Love Andersson always sounded like Maynard James Keenan or did he choose to sing like him for Port Noir?
That Anders Fridén of In Flames picked Port Noir as one of his first signings to his label Razzia Notes should say something about the quality of their output and their second album offers up a more interesting platter of sonic titbits than debut Puls. The blend of forlorn and cinematic progressive rock set against a backdrop of post-metal and 80s-inspired sounds provokes a gothic atmosphere that sits comfortably beside Leprous’s last few releases.
Sometimes it gets wishy-washy, with melodies meandering around dirgey basslines, but Andersson brings it back with passionate vocal histrionics.
Standout tracks don’t jump off the page but the intensity of Exile and the Rage Against the Machine-y riffs on The Sleep are a nice touch. Black From The Ink, however, is the winner, combining aching melody with shuddering depth.