These Swedes were a guilty pleasure of mine right from the Mercyful Fate worship of their early days. While their metal is trad, it has never been without creativity--especially in recent years. The loss of a guitarist and bassist since 2014's 'Crossroads' seems to have had little effect. The essential elements of their sound are intact: Per Lengstedt's abrasive wail; Anders Persson's solid beats and tasty fills; Christian Lindell's aggressive, eerie yet melodic riffing and deft, piercing solos. But Portrait keep things fresh enough to prevent fans from tuning out. (Note the organ solo on "Likfassna.") One difference this time--the presence of more intricate riffing and longer, more complex song structures. Just enough spice to freshen up a familiar recipe.
Recommended for fans of: Mercyful Fate, Overdrive, Euro Metal in general