Christfucker—the latest full-length album from the Texas-based heavy music crew Portrayal of Guilt—is explosive. Like getting psychologically torn apart while in a violently gripping trance and losing any meaningful sense of nearby physical reality—and it then happening again, and again, and again on a loop, the record gallops onward while the band unfurl their crushing vision of cataclysmic destruction. 

Pinning the album within a particular genre is intriguingly difficult. Viewed one way, Christfucker blends the searing viciousness of black metal with the pummeling onslaughts of hardcore, unifying the demolishing storm of sound with the incinerating emotion of piercing screamo. There’s a thrill running through the album, as though it delivers jolts of adrenaline while stumbling through a hellscape. It’s confident and direct—it never feels particularly unsure of itself. Instead, it embraces the devastation, which the sheer sonic magnitude of Christfucker makes clear is here to stay anyway. 

“We wanted to create an album that sounded like it came straight from Hell,” vocalist and guitarist Matt King explains. “I think we accomplished that with Christfucker.” 

Portrayal of Guilt have explicitly tied themselves to horror themes in the past. For a pair of singles off their earlier 2021 release, We Are Always Alone, the group put out a joint music video that was essentially a short horror movie, showing the work—and eventual defeat—of a serial killer operating in a junkyard.  

“The influence a good horror movie score has on our band plays into our sound as a whole,” King says. “What inspires me most are the scores to these movies. Not just horror, but all genres. I think within horror movies, you’ll find more compelling sounds that can trigger you to feel something, such as anxiety or fear, based on what’s happening on screen. The best example of this would be a ‘jump scare.’” 

Portrayal of Guilt certainly head similar directions on Christfucker, from the walloping torrents of sound found on “The Sixth Circle” to the hypnotically repetitious, otherworldly blasts that help close “Possession,” the album’s final track and lead single.  

With menacingly contorted rhythms throughout the journey, Christfucker sounds centered on psychological torment rather than something purely physical and further off. The album is laden with suffocating atmosphere and raw ferocity to the point that escaping the shadowy aggressors suggested by the maelstrom seems impossible. 

The band base their work on a rigorous writing schedule, King shares.  

“It comes easily sometimes, but not every time,” he says, discussing the creative process behind Portrayal of Guilt. “We’ve been disciplined enough to write in every window of free time we get, so with that comes a lot of practice and new material.” 

The music itself leads the way.  

“No preconceived ideas go into the writing,” King explains. “We simply spark a joint and let it ride. It’s just a coincidence that this record has more of a black metal influence.” 

Meanwhile, King’s recent personal interests in music have varied.  

“I always go through phases, but currently I’ve been listening to a lot of this incredible band called Drahla from the U.K.,” he shares. “They’re very reminiscent of Sonic Youth in my opinion. The songwriting is very unique. That and most recently Dawn of Humans, Dystopia, The Mob.” 

Ultimately, the experiences associated with the music of Portrayal of Guilt—from live shows to fans’ connections with the songs—sit prominently in the band’s perspective.  

“We hope to open more people’s minds to the idea that music like ours can be accessible in any realm,” King explains. “We’re anxious to get back on tour this October.” 

Watch the video for “…where the suffering never ends” here:

For more from Portrayal of Guilt, find them on their official website.

Photo courtesy of Portrayal of Guilt and Addrian Jafaritabar

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