Portal are an up and coming prog rock band from a slightly unusual place. I generally associate prog with Europe, England, Germany, and Poland seem to be the real hot-beds of the genre. Portal though are Canadian, up until very recently Edmonton, Alberta was their center of operation. Alberta is famous for a couple of things, great beef, cowboys, Country Music, the Calgary Stampede, and of course oil. But not prog rock!

Portal have just released an exciting CD Blood Red Tape. Portal have a presence that can not be denied. They are part of the vanguard that I call Prog 2.0, out are the Moogs and Melotrons, in, are Guitars and lots of them. There is one thing that has remained a standard though, and that is the quality of composition.

I recently had a discussion with Shawn Gordon, the owner of Progrock Records, I asked the question, what is prog? His answer was a well thought out one, essentially anything that does not fit into the 4 minutes slot so beloved by radio stations. Much as I like Shawn’s definition, I will take it one stage further, the vast majority of prog bands have at their helm someone with a classic music education. Portal is no exception, Kenton Thomas has that education.

You can catch the entire interview here, and as a bonus, Kenton permitted us to air two tracks from Blood Red Tape, Your Kettle and The Kingdom. Both of these tracks showcase the great potential of this band.

Forget the rubbish on the radio and just remember PROG ROCK’S!

You can order your copy of Blood Red Tape from Amazon, the band also has a web site.

Simon Barrett

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