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Review: Ranger - Shock Skull
Shock Skull

Label: Ektro Records
Year released: 2014
Duration: 10:11
Tracks: 2
Genre: Speed Metal


Review online: July 13, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (18 Votes)

Finland's Speed Metal revivalists, Ranger, are back with a new 7" single entitled Shock Skull, which comes on the heels of their well-received EP Knights of Darkness from 2013. The same early Slayer-style speed and aggression that characterized Knights of Darkness also infuses the two tracks on this single though the tempo has now been ramped up to "Chemical Warfare" proportions. The early Megadeth influences I heard on the EP aren't nearly as obvious and have been replaced with more of an Exciter vibe, especially the vocals. When vocalist/bassist Dimi hits the high notes, he sounds a lot like Dan Beehler but not like he's trying to pass a bowling ball. Both "Shock Skull" and "Omen of Doom" represent little variation from Ranger's formula and that's OK because what they do is very enjoyable. I just hope the non-stop speed isn't omnipresent on their next release. I love speed as much as the next guy but the occasional slow part makes the speedy ones ever better by creating that sense of anticipation that at any minute the band is going to let loose.

Regardless, if early Speed Metal is your thing and you haven't checked out Ranger yet, what the hell are you waiting for? This band has captured the sound of early 80s Slayer, Megadeth, Agent Steel, Exciter, etc. by the balls and whips it back into our faces with all the fury a Gibson Flying V plugged into a stack of Marshall Amps can muster. Get on the bandwagon now.

More about Ranger...
Review: Knights of Darkness (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Skull Splitting Metal! (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Speed & Violence (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Where Evil Dwells (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Where Evil Dwells (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Ylös raunioista / Risen From The Ruins (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarist Jaakko Hietakangas on January 29, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with drummer Miko Sipilä on March 3, 2021 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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