From garage band to indie stars

By Myke Atkinson

Portal is Kenton Thomas. The music behind the name is completely written, arranged and produced by this one-man prodigy.

This summer, Portal released their first recording under the fitting title A Taste of Things to Come. The debut EP contains seven songs, plus a remix of their hit song, "Nothing." Taste is a blend of hard rock and emotion with a backdrop of industrial elements. Thomas brought the disc from conception to final product entirely in his home studio.

"Being able to record when you have inspiration is a key to writing good music," he says. "So many independent bands lock themselves in a studio for five days, and when you buy their CD you can hear the rush-job. This CD took over a year to finish. I think that people can hear that and appreciate it."

Unlike many bands, Portal started as a recording project, giving them a solid direction to pursue. Once the disc was recorded and ready, Thomas decided it was time to start pulling the members of a band together.

"Having recorded first gave us an edge, as we came to our first show with enough solid songs for a really good show," he says. "Having a CD for fans to buy didn’t hurt either."

The live lineup takes the songs and rips them apart, reconstructing them into edgy, in-your-face rock. Though audiences lose the electronic element in live performance, organic elements like Thomas’ conga fills in for the lack of mechanical beats. Each member plays off the energy of the music to give the audience an amazing show.

"I think the writing might change for the next disc," Thomas says. "Other members will have more input on further efforts. This will hopefully bring in new ideas and new styles, which is definitely a good thing as music is a continuous progression into uncharted territory."

To their credit, Portal recently held the number one position on the metal charts for a month straight. They also won the Adopt-A-Band competition held by Edmonton’s The Bear, winning recording time along with a whole package to further their musical career. If the past is any indication of the future, this is one band you won’t want to miss.

"We’ve only been playing shows for a couple months now, but the response has been great," says Thomas. "So far things have been keeping us busy, but what could be better than life as a rock star?"


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