Album Review: Mothman and the Thunderbirds – Portal Hopper (Self Released)

Mothman and the Thunderbirds are back and soaring to new heights on their sophomore album ‘Portal Hopper’. This new installment is a concept album that sees the band melding elements of prog metal and dream pop with the central theme being about escapism and the eventual escape from escapism. It will be released on July 12th, 2024.

A concept album with a creative story, Portal Hopper is a fantastical adventure that sees the eponymous portal hopper leave the natural world and travel to surreal locations accessible only by portal. Granted access by the Flatwoods Monster, the portal hopper meets a variety of cryptids in these strange lands and eventually ends up in the Squonk Kingdom. There the portal hopper finds a way to get to the Akashic Records, a compendium of all knowledge past, present, and future.

A lot to take in and one hell of a burden to carry back to the natural world, but before the portal hopper can return, they must face the Flatwoods Monster to gain their freedom.

For the story alone, this new Mothman and the Thunderbirds release is their most impressive effort yet. However, when combined with a dazzling array of sounds that draws from the worlds of prog, rock, pop, psychedelia, and more, it becomes even more special.



Bright and brilliant, Mothman and the Thunderbirds don’t just tell a bold story, they deliver an album filled with fantastical wonder. Beginning things in energised and anthemic fashion with Ruby Skies. Before unleashing a cacophony of poppy and proggy weirdness with Polygonal Polliwog, and dangerous drama with Flatwoods Monster. The first third of the album sets out the high level of creativity that Mothman and the Thunderbirds has to offer across the entirety of the album.

Compelling eccentricity that keeps you guessing track after track. Mothman and the Thunderbirds continue to impress as Liminal Spacetime Continuum offers up a more ‘gazey’ style rock. The melody is pretty, and it has an innate catchiness to it. Then there is the smile-inducing funkiness of Fractals, and the dreamy body-shaker that is Squonk Kingdom. Has it been stated enough already that this album is pretty damn wacky?

Chances are though, you’ll be head over heels in love with it by the halfway point as it is so impressively imaginative.

Which means there’s a ton of excitement to hear what comes next and Mothman and the Thunderbirds pay that off vigorously. First, with a luminous effort like Akashic Records, a truly wonderful piece with heavy atmosphere and exquisite vocals. Then, with the thicker and heavier Escape from Flatwoods, and the folksy foot-tapper that is Somewhere in Time.

Three-quarters of the way through, and still as impressive as it was at the start, there is no doubt that this is Mothman and the Thunderbirds’ at their absolute best.

What else can they possibly offer as the journey begins to reach its final stages? How about something as epic sounding as The Zaratan? Or something as trippy as So Long (Portal Hopper)? Or how about the surprisingly emotional impact that the finale of Attic has? Not just because it is melodic and heartfelt, but because this incredible album has reached its end and that’s a sad moment.

An outstanding release, that sees Mothman and the Thunderbirds outdo anything they’ve done before. Experience the madness for yourself and be prepared to fall madly in love with what it offers.

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Mothman and the Thunderbirds – Portal Hopper Track Listing:

1. Ruby Skies
2. Polygonal Polliwog
3. Flatwoods Monster
4. Liminal Spacetime Continuum
5. Fractals
6. Squonk Kingdom
7. Akashic Records
8. Escape from Flatwoods
9. Somewhere in Time
10. The Zaratan
11. So Long (Portal Hopper)
12. Attic


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Mothman and the Thunderbirds – Portal Hopper (Self Released)
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