Ranger - Shock Skull
Ektro Records
Speed Metal
2 songs (10'11")
Release year: 2014
Ektro Records
Reviewed by Alex

I have to admit I missed Finland’s Ranger debut EP Knights of Darkness, but then Fenriz himself recommended this speed metal band. So, when the opportunity came to sample them on the fly with a 7” Shock Skull, the release made a quick dash to the player. Anything to bring back glory days of my youth …

Many a band these days are trying to resurrect the early days of metal, and the Finns certainly represent this bunch. Shock Skull (and as I suspect Knights of Darkness) do not break new ground, nor do they even attempt to do it. Instead, the listener is for the shock and awe of the speedy thrashy metal barrage of mid 80s. Ranger’s plight is less about melody or crushing epic riffs, but instead the focus is on chaos and raucous creation. This music is less for you to sing along to, but rather to break your neck to in the fit of constant headbanging. Although the noodlier Maiden solos are present in both tracks (and that is where most melody can be found), the rest of the way Ranger just rushes along, sometimes fast (title track) and other times d-beatingly very fast (Omen of Doom). Shock Skull is both crude and rude, in terms of both production and songwriting. When you also figure in Dimi’s vocals barking it off, but at times letting out King Diamond level falsettos, I can feel that Ranger is ready to veer out of control at any point. Still retro heavy metal, but less Accept-like NWOBHM of Armour, Iron Dogs or Widow, Ranger is closer to Exciter or Deceptor (from modern days), but it can be easily seen how there is one step from this music to either Slayer or Venom. Blackened thrash fans will like this band just as much as classic metal aficionados.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted no quote
Other albums by Ranger that we have reviewed:
Ranger - Speed & Violence reviewed by Andy and quoted 87 / 100
Ranger - Where Evil Dwells reviewed by Andy and quoted 87 / 100
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