My journey through the musical landscape has been a strange one, not unlike my cinematic journey. They both began late, did not have a lot of outside guidance and required a lot of floundering around by me. To that end, my discovery of certain bands and styles has been roundabout to say the least. My experience is vastly different than that of many of my friends. I am not sure if that is good or bad. In any case, one of the recent albums to cross my desk is the debut full length from Ranger, a modern throwback.
Ranger hail from Helsinki, Finland, and deliver old school thrash metal. Thrash, outside of the so-called "Big Four," was not a big draw for me.it was more of a secondary style as I was getting into music, which consisted mostly of rock and glam that was all over the radio at the time. Fortunately, a good friend of mine as a youngster was into the heavier stuff, so I had some exposure (Matt Byrne, drummer for Hatebreed). Over the years, my enjoyment has grown, all of which helps me enjoy the heck out of Ranger.
The album is called Where Evil Dwells and feels completely current, but reminds me of the early days when I was getting into rock and metal and just how fun it can be. It seems that some artists and fans take the music way too seriously, this is not a bad thing as we do need serious music, but sometimes it is just as fun to flat rock out with a thrash act that is having a good time playing their music.
Ranger is clearly having a blast with the music. Where Evil Dwells is a solid thrash album in the classic sense that is not overly serious in tone, but certainly serious in nature, while not attempting to replicate styles and hits of the past, instead adapting the classic style to the modern day. If this were someone's first interaction with thrash, it is a good one that will hopefully inspire some backwards investigation into the classics.
Everything on Where Evil Dwells culminates with the ten-minute title track that just rages and rages like there is no tomorrow. It is certainly a song that will get a pit churned up and leave them completely spent and exhausted. And just when you think it is done, there is more. The album finishes its thrashing with a blitzkrieg of riffs and drums in the form of "Storm of Power." So, summon up what little reserve you have left and get thrashing.