September 2013 National Music Reviews

Reviews: Ranger – Knights of Darkness

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Ranger
Knights of Darkness
Ektro
Street: 09.06
Ranger = Running Wild + Sadus + King Diamond + Slayer’s “Final Command”
Once that squealing twin lead intro gives way to the cranium-crunching chug on the title track, the landscape of Knights of Darkness comes into focus: NWOBHM fully re-imagined through the lens of teutonic thrash. Screeching banshee vocals flit between King Diamond wails and Venom-ous grunts while a maelstrom of Finnish fretboard acrobatics encircle the corybantic blaze, like a souped up classic––Kreator karaoke of the Neat Records catalog. As breathtaking in execution as in zitty metalhead theory, check the wicked furor of “Touch of Death,” the poseur-disposing stomp of “Supreme Evil” and the caterwauling solo in “Steel Dawn” for fine pre-thrash metal like it should be. Five song mini-LP, no filler––yer bangin’. Get on it! –Dylan Chadwick
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