(8/10) There is a new album available from two Swedish underground icons RAM and Portrait. Both deeply rooted in classic heavy metal, the split EP is a great bridge till the new records will be ready. Both bands have recorded three songs which gives you half an hour of real metal.
It starts with RAM. The Gothenburg-based band is around since 1999 and has already three full-length records out there in the shops. The last one was the 2012 release "Death". The split EP contains one new song plus two cover versions; one song from Portrait and the other one from is Kiss' "Creatures of the night". The opener is a new one - the fast "Savage machine". It's a good start into the EP since the track has a decent drive and is a pure metal track. Screaming guitars and a straight forward beat are real food for headbangers. The pace gets a bit less with "Welcome to my funeral". The interpretation of the Portrait song feels like a trip back in the 70's and 80's. Some Merciful Fate/King Diamond references (of course) are shining through here and there. The Kiss cover "Creatures of the night" is a bit of unnecessary. Another own songs would have been better. The way RAM arranged the track isn't bad, but the original is better and it is hard to cover such a classic in a good way. So, OK, but also not more.
After those three tunes Portrait takes over. Their latest records have been highly appreciated by the metal community. The vocals are of course a bit special. Per Lengstedt has with the mighty King Diamond a real idol and his way of singing and phrasing reminds very much to the King. However, the musical quality of Portrait is without discussion. "Martial lead" is a typial power metal anthem which will be probabaly even better during a live show. And it is the new Portrait song on the EP. "Blessed by the cursed" is a pounding headbanger with a great riff. It's a tune from RAM and I actually had to think about bands like Liege Lord when I heard the song for the first time. Cool metal stuff. "Aggressor" finishes the split EP. The fast neckbreaker from Exciter is the closer of this split EP. The rhythm section is merciless pushing and gives you the feeling of being in a three minutes hurricane.
Good that the two band combined forces and released the split EP. Each fan of true classic heavy metal should call the EP his/her own.
- Savage machine
- Welcome to my funeral (Portrait cover)
- Creatures of the night (Kiss cover)
- Martial lead
- Blessed by the cursed (RAM cover)
- Aggressor (Exciter cover)
Label: Metal Blades
Genre: Heavy Metal