The Helsinki quartet burst onto the scene in 2009 (following a brief period under the name Turbin), but really started picking up steam last year with their last LP, and Spinefarm debut Where Evil Dwells. Scarcely a year later, the boys are back with another full-length, and it’s exactly what heavy metal needs right now, as we cruise through one of the shittiest (and most divisive) years in recorded history.
The bulk of Ranger’s appeal lies in their ability to churn out pitch-perfect 80s-worshipping speed metal (piercing howls, shrieking leads, and all) without sounding stale, or derivative, or self-conscious. They expertly execute speed metal’s core tenets—heavy metal, thrash, even They simply show up, plug in, and shred—echoing the loose, bare-bones approach of their forebears down to their song titles (“Night Slasher” is a particularly sick ripper), leather-clad aesthetic, reckless tempos, and vocalist Dimi’s high-pitched squeals and unhinged laughter.
There’s something uplifting, even joyful, in the way these four dudes rock and rage together—this is hard-charging heavy metal in its purest, most distilled form, and it’s impossible not to love. With their bouncy melodies and anthemic leads, they often feel like a tougher, more streetwise High Spirits, and if there’s one thing we sorely fucking need this year, it’s more joy.
|09/09/17||Torreillles||Pyrenean Warriors Open Air||France|