Review: RAM/Portrait split – ‘Under Command’

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I love Mötely Crüe and I hate to admit it but they’re one of those bands that just slipped through the cracks for me. So when RAM came along (on their side of the split) with a Dr. Feelgood groove and vocals that are somewhere between Vince Neil and Rody Walker (Protest The Hero) I felt like I’d just had my first kiss, the thrill of it and the excitement (not the feeling of something slimy in my mouth!).

Not just the excitement and nostalgia but there’s something else, a feeling of magic. Megadeth are all about coffins and silk lining being permeated by the smell of death and RAM bring that into the fold without the staleness of a generation of metal been and gone. They’re like the spirit of heavy metal, clad in leather, with a Black Sabbath era magic and a healthy death obsession.

For Portrait’s side of the deal it’s straight up and down rock ’n’ roll. It’s ballsy with enough riffage to feel like it too was torn out of the ‘80s. Perhaps, then, nostalgia is this album’s jam (I’m not not that old, but I know my metal). “Under Command” is fully and wholly one of those albums you’d expect to hear listed alongside AC/DC and friends when bands talk about their greatest influences.

It lives and breaths the magic and spirit of old school rock and doesn’t relentless pound you with double kicks until your nose bleeds.

This split album brings back everything we’ve moved away from as we’ve fallen more love with BMTH while Sabbath’s main fan base encroach on their early eighties.