|Portal is an Australian extreme metal band notorious for its unorthodox fusion of death metal with black metal. The band's hybrid musical style is characterized by heavily distorted guitar riffs, down-tuned rhythms, and vocals ranging from "menacing, echoing" sound effects to guttural grunts. The music has been compared to, "among other things, a leaf blower, a vacuum cleaner and an 'aeronautics tunnel'."
Describing the band's style, Decibel magazine said: "If Morbid Angel and Gorguts had birthed a German Expressionist child, that unholy creature would be Portal." The band members keep their identities obscured and instead use stage names, The Curator (vocals), Horror Illogium (lead guitar), Aphotic Mote (rhythm guitar), Ominous Fugue (bass), and Ignis Fatuus (drums). Their costumes differ from the heavy metal fashion and look like "suits and executioners' masks save for vocalist The Curator, who wears a huge, tattered wizard's hat that obscures his face."
The idea for these costumes were developed between The Curator and Horror Illogium, inspired in the fashion of the 1920s, as well as the imagery created by actor Lon Chaney, Sr. in a few of his roles from the silent film era, which according to Horror Illogium was the ideal figure for what the band wanted to portray. The band cites as inspiration for its lyrical themes the entities mentioned in Lovecraft Mythos, such as Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth, Azathoth, and Cthulhu. The most prominently musical influences from the band's formative years were Morbid Angel, Beherit, and Immolation.
Since its foundation in 1994, Portal have steadily built an underground cult following, including the extended plays The End Mills (2002) and The Sweyy (2004), and the studio albums Seepia (2003), Outre' (2007), and Swarth (2009). The band's releases have been criticised for their "lack of production quality, unrefined, murky sound and overly disturbing atmosphere," while it has also been stated that Portal "reach back to truly old-school ideas [as few bands do] and are forward-thinking for it."