Review: Porselain – Duende

Last month we already wrote about Porselain in the 32nd part of Promoting Bands, which you can read here. At that moment vocalist Micky Huijsmans, guitarist Cas Kruse, bass player Jim Onstenk and drummer Wouter Macaré just announced that they were going to release their debut full-length, titled Duende, on October the 25th. Until then they only released a live version of PORT, Hiraeth and Mortiferous, in its original, electric version as well as in an acoustic version. In the meantime they also released a video for PORT, preceded by Il Est Mort. Now, October the 25th is over and Duende is released.

As we already mentioned in Promoting Bands, Porselain’s music isn’t easy to put into one box, it’s not always that heavy, but constantly contains quite a dark vibe. The opening track, the title track, begins raw, heavy and distorted, including different shouting vocals. Later on it will be a bit more quiet, including quite a jazzy, loungy vibe, especially due to the drums. After another part that is a bit more heavier and proggy, it will again become a bit more quiet and from that moment on Porselain builds up the tension very well to end up exploding into a very proggy, at some moments very post metal-like part, including a very nice guitar sound and returning, different shouting vocals.

That doomy, post metal vibe again returns in Hiraeth and in quite a big part of PORT. In Hiraeth that vibe is almost constantly present, sometimes a bit more clear due to the heavier music, but it surely is also present in the more quiet, but still heavy-laden parts. In both cases Micky delivers very vulnerable vocals, that perfectly combine with both musical styles. Micky’s vocals are one of the highlights of this entire album. Hiraeth, just as Mortala, but especially Selcouth, are standing out the most in this, but later more about Mortala and Selcouth. In Hiraeth Micky shows to have quite a wide vocal range. She sings really high notes, but also sometimes delivers a bit lower vocals. Her beautiful vocals also are full of emotion, which makes it almost impossible to not be touched by it.

To get an example of those vocals full of emotion, be sure to listen to Mortala, the closing track of Duende. Mortala is pretty calm, until its quite heavy, proggy, sludgy part halfway, including different shouting vocals. After that part Mortala gets a bit of a chaotic, paranoid vibe over it to ultimately end in a chaotic, noisy end, leaving you with a feeling of “what an incredibly nice experience! I want more!” During those shouting vocals, but especially with Micky’s last shout at the end of this track it stands out that Micky’s raw voice is also very nice and powerful.

So far I’ve skipped one aforementioned track, Selcouth. That was a deliberate choice though, because I wanted to end my review with that track. That’s because Selcouth is my personal favorite track of Duende. Especially in terms of Micky’s vocals this is the ultimate highlight of this album. On Selcouth she delivers very soulful vocals with a lot of emotion in it. I already mentioned that it’s almost impossible to not be touched by her vocals, that’s even more the case with Selcouth. In Selcouth Micky’s vocals really are giving goosebumps! She also shows a lot of variation in her vocals in this track and sings some lower notes as well as regularly very high notes, to build up singing even higher and higher, to end up singing in level “this isn’t normal anymore!” Instrumentally Selcouth is also very strong, especially in its guitar parts, with as highlight the very nice roaring guitar solo. During its start this track is mainly focused on the vocals, but later it also focuses on the instrumental part of it, without focusing less on the vocals. Selcouth is very energy-building and so towards the end we’ll hear an explosion instrumentally as well as vocally.

It may be clear, with Duende Porselain delivered a very strong album for sure. Especially considering it is Porselain’s debut album. Duende became a debut album that surely is year list material and Porselain is a band I will keep track of for sure!

Porselain Official Website
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