Believe it or not, Arsonists Get All the Girls have actually matured somewhat on their second Century Media release. Their spastic genre-hopping has calmed down and been synthesized into a relatively straightforward blend of death metal, thrash, and electronica (both in the presence of synth melodies and non-programmed disco beats). The songs on Portals are actually songs, not just collections of riffs and moments stapled together; there's some terrific soloing on "Violence in Fluid -Triceratops-" that moves them almost into power metal territory, and the album's seven-and-a-half-minute title track sits at the intersection of prog and screamo. Other songs, like "To Playact in Static" and "In the Empyreans," are fierce mosh pit workouts. They may lose some goodwill for including a lengthy and pointless skit at album's end, but overall, Portals makes it clear that these guys have stopped trying to make each other laugh and are now trying to make listeners give a damn about what they're doing, and maybe even listen to the record more than once. It's a laudable goal.