Death To Hippie Thrash!!


Portrait will play an important role in the Underground Metal scene in the next few years. The first reason for that proposal will be released on the beginning of April, is simply titled "Portrait" and is an astounding killer record. Read what Christian Lindell has to say about their first full-length and some other issues....


Sacred Metal: There must have been a day when five Swedish guys thought “let’s found an oldschool Metal-Band and celebrate the only music possible”. Tell me more about that day!

Christian Lindell (guit.): This day actually never was. Me and Anders started rehearsing alone at first, but David was a member of the band from the start as well, but lives pretty far away from us so it took some time to get him over for some serious rehearsals. We knew that Philip could sing and he was a bit of a friends’ friend of ours, so we asked him. There is actually a recording of “Black hole of doom” that I made in school some years before we started to rehearse, which has a drum machine, me on guitar and bass, and Philip singing. Anyway, we asked Philip to join us and after a few rehearsals there was no turning back. Then Richard suddenly had moved from Linköping to Kristianstad (our hometown, about 500 km from Linköping) and we had met at a couple of gigs, festivals and so earlier on. I asked him if he was interested in joining the band and he was, and here we are.

Portrait consists of five metallians – can you characterize each one for me? What are their strong points and are there any weaknesses? ;)

Anders is great, the other of us are just stupid and weak in comparison to him really.

Your first musical sign was the “Welcome to my funeral” demo which came out in tape-form (really something special in these CDR-days!). When you listen to that tape in 2008, what are your thoughts about it?

I think it’s a good demo. We could have taken some more time rehearsing before we recorded it maybe, to add some more stuff, but overall it’s still great in my opinion. On the other side, if you release something you can’t stand for two years later, maybe you should consider quitting. Like those black metal bands that “started as Darkthrone-clones” but now sound “totally like Nifelheim”.

Then the people from New Iron Age / Iron Kodex signed you and brought out your first 7” which caused quite an uproar in the Metal underground. Do you still feel comfortable with both compositions?

Yes, I like the songs very much still but I’m not really 100% keen on the production. The guitars should have been louder. Anyway, what do I know? Steve Harris isn’t satisfied with the guitar sound on the first Iron maiden album, and I think that guitar sound is the best shit I have ever heard, so really, what do I know?

The first two names that come to one’s mind when listening to Portrait are “Mercyful Fate” and “King Diamond” (besides quite a few NWoBHM-combos) – do you agree that these two bands are among the most important influences for Portait?

Not really, not for me at least. Would you think so if the vocals were different? I don’t think so. The most important influence for me is Judas Priest, without the slightest trace of a doubt. Not that the goal is to SOUND exactly like them, but they really inspire me to be creative.
Anyway, I don’t have any problem with people comparing us to the mentioned bands, I like them both very much and I do understand that people can come to think of King Diamond when hearing Philips vocals.

When you compare your first efforts to your first full-length disc, what are the main differences?

I think we have developed in every possible way, both musically and sound-wise. The songs are more thought-through and one can hear that we actually have rehearsed properly prior to the recording this time. It’s hard to analyze what differences there are in the actual songs on the album compared to our early stuff, but one thing I am sure of is that we have not used the riffs on the album on any of the earlier releases at least.

Could you give our readers a short “track by track”-analysis (musically and lyric wise) of each song of “Portrait”?

Ok, “Hell” is a fast and slow song, with powerful twin-leads and fast and slow solos. A very Danish piece I‘d say. The lyrics are written by Richard so I’m not gonna go to deep into my any interpretation of them, but the title says enough I think. “A ghastly silence” follows. A “Rainmaker”-like song with some pretty dark edges, and a Dissection-part in the middle. The lyrics deal with one of my many dreams, and is not that hard to understand. “Village of the fallen angel” is one of the first ever Portrait songs written. Quite doomy at first, then bursting into a total rock ‘n’ roll piece. The lyrics are based on a certain movie directed by a certain Spanish gentleman. “Consecration” is a witches song with some 70’s groovy beats to it. “A thousand nightmares” are again Richards song, but I believe the lyrics deals with the killing of a whore. Musically it is a kinda Motörhead-ish song in my opinion. “Bow unto the devil” is a bit punky at times, and has drum solos at times. The lyrics deal with the choosing of the sinister side, the path away from God.
“Beware the demons” is a galloppy song with a catchy chorus, and “The adversary” is the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end. A very dark, epic piece, signed Richard.

In about two weeks you celebrate the release of your CD at the tenth Keep It True – installment. What are your feelings about that?

It will be great! We are very glad that we managed to get it done in time so that a KIT release is possible. It will be a monumental night for sure. Let’s hope some people show up, haha.

What plans do you have for Portrait? What do you want to achieve in the next months and years?

Not much really, apart from world-domination.

What do you think about today’s Metal scene? What bands do you like, what styles can’t you bear?

I think it is ok. Most of the old great bands are still going strong, but I don’t really like too many new bands. There are many of them that kind of are playing a cool type of metal, but what I miss mostly on new albums are the actual SONGS. The hits. They are long gone it seems…
The styles I can’t bear are those “let’s get metal accepted by everyone and let’s drink together because we are all so alike”-hippie thrash bands.

Do you have anything else to add to all the SACRED METAL-readers? This place is yours now…

Thanks for reading this far! Buy the album! Nice website! Too bad I don’t understand the language!
Die in fire!




© Michael Kohsiek 2008