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Portrait/Ram - Under Command Award winner

Portrait/Ram
Under Command
by Yngwieviking at 23 December 2014, 8:51 PM

Written in bold white letters inside the booklet of this new release by legendary Metal Blade records, you can read “dedicate your life to Heavy Metal or DIE”…After this kind of statement, it is difficult to argue something else. Anyway, I must confess it’s not completely untrue and from there it’s quite easy to predict the kind of music this split EP, will gonna provide in our scorched ears! And guess what? Yep, you are bloody right!!! This is Pure Swedish Heavy Metal with slight Occult thematic and a great orthodoxy in the darkened sound Heavily corrupted by the malefic influence of JUDAS PRIEST & MERCYFUL FATE. This split EP is a very original product, a unique kind of release, an interesting move both artistically and in terms of promotion: the concept is a six tracks disc with each band which is recording a brand new song, covering a Classic track and then also reciprocally exchanging, a track from their own repertoire!

RAM is still at the edge of the Heavy Metal tyranny, dogmatic at the highest point, standing proudly as the sacred Keeper of the ideology, while PORTRAIT is deeply involved in the Occult Swedish wave, combining the KING DIAMOND like hallucinated vocals with the Hammer film’s kind of Horrific and gloomy moods in a Black cult atmosphere!

The best cut by far is provided by RAM; their song “Savage Machine” is symptomatic of their savoir faire, the sharp riffage and the savage high piched vocals are perfect: The Swedish Steel in its total supremacy…Pure Metal anthem my friends!

They are also reponsible for a great rendition of “Creature Of The Night”, set in a slower tempo and darker than the original but still faithfull to the spirit of the Knights In Satan Service (lol).

The fourth slot “Martial Lead” by PORTRAIT, is also a fine track and its quite exemplar of their evilish style, like a Scandinavian darkened vision of the NWOBHMANGEL WITCH meets the dual lead of early IRON MAIDEN, meets the BATHORY epic wake enhanced with the evocative howling of Per Lengstedt (also frontman for OVERDRIVE).
Their reciprocal cover song exercise is fun, because each band provides its own modification, its typical brand, its own sonic signature and finally succeed in reaching a similar level of satisfaction! Sweden is one of the most interesting household for Dark Heavy Metal…The underground Swedish scene is one of the best in the worldwide Metalorama…The Swedish water must be contaminated by some highly infectious miasmic elements straight out of hell…Now I know that a lot of people are trying to erase or deny the differences between different human cultures, they call that Mondialism, I don't believe in this doctrine…Especially in HM as in other thematic this is not valid, the deepness and the complexity of the human societies and its consequences are more than obvious in the musical nuances…Thanx to Metal Blade records, to PORTRAIT and RAM for such an incredible listening moment and such a celebration for the more important thing in our lifetime dedication for Metal…Long live the loud!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. RAM - Savage Machine
2. RAM - Welcome to My Funeral (PORTRAIT cover)
3. RAM - Creatures of the Night (KISS cover)
4. PORTRAIT - Martial Lead
5. PORTRAIT - Blessed to Be Cursed (RAM cover)
6. PORTRAIT - Aggressor (EXCITER cover)
Lineup:
PORTRAIT
Anders Persson - Drums
Christian Lindell - Guitars
Per Lengstedt - Lead Vocals
David Olofsson - Guitars
Cab Castervall - Bass
RAM
Morgan Petterson - Drums
Oscar Carlquist - Lead Vocals
Harry Granroth - Guitars
Tobias Petterson - Bass
Martin Jonsson - Guitars
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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