Formed in Helsinki in 2009, Finland’s Ranger started “as a five-piece speed metal band,” says guitarist Jaakko (ex-Swallowed). “There’s been a few lineup changes since, like Dimi picking up the bass and Miko moving from guitar to drums. It’s been us three who kept the band going. Verneri joined us last year after ‘Metal Gear’ [Ranger’s first demo] was recorded and completed the lineup with second lead guitar. He’s a real ripper and we really love to have him onboard. He completes our desire for over-the-top double guitar action.”
“Over-the-top” provides a perfect descriptor for Ranger’s furious and loose “hot burning metal” attack. The aforementioned twin “guitar action” definitely propels the chaos. Complementing the ripping guitars are Dimi’s frenetic, high-pitched vocals and banshee wailing. You might call Ranger’s self-styled “combat metal” sloppy, but a large part of their appeal derives from the “feel” of the naked, raw aggression and not technical precision – much like early Destruction.
“Destruction and Teutonic thrash rules,” agrees Jaakko, “but as a band, our main influences are the very basis of heavy metal. Pounding drums, dominating and powerful vocals with skull-splitting, double lead guitars that melt your face and send shivers down your spine. We worship bands like Judas Priest, Motörhead, Exciter, Iron Maiden, Raven, Accept and Thin Lizzy.”
Ranger is onto something. Their awesome three-song ‘Combat Metal’ demo (on Fanatic’s Lodge) earned Fenriz’s “Band Of The Week” seal of approval several months ago and they recently finished recording a mini LP.
“Yeah,” says Jaakko, “we just recorded our debut mini LP at Black Floyd’s Analog Soundhouse. It’s titled ‘Knights Of Darkness’. The vinyl will be out in late August or early September through Ektro Records.”
“As Paul Baloff said, ‘Metal rules, if you don’t like it, DIE!’”
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