Ranger
Where Evil Dwells


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg EMERITUS
March 17th, 2015 | 67 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In their most critical release up to date, Ranger justify all the recent praise and assure us that they’re here to stay.

There’s something magical about the heavy metal scene of the ‘80s. It’s not just the quality of music that was in abundance, the subgenres that were developed or the insane runs of albums that segmented legacies. Equally to those, it was about the intangibles and the image; the brotherhood and the feeling of belonging, the air guitar, the leather vests and tight jeans, the lame hairstyles, the band patches and Dio’s devil horns. Consequently, it’s natural that a lot of bands today are making a conscious effort to relive that scene. Whether or not their efforts will be successful remains to be seen but regardless we are fortunate enough to enjoy some great heavy metal albums along the way.

Ranger, after having released Knights of Darkness in 2013, have been one of the most hyped bands of the aforementioned scene and for a good reason. One can place their lone EP among the ‘80s speed metal finest and still hold its own. Not many modern bands can make such a claim; Ranger, Evil Invaders, Enforcer and Stallion are some of the very few select. Therefore, it’s no wonder that Where Evil Dwells has been highly anticipated among speed metal fans. Fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint as it continues where Knights of Darkness left us with very few variations in order to support the case of an improving band.

Ranger’s debut LP can be placed somewhere among Agent Steel, early Slayer and Metallica, Overkill (“Dead Zone”) with a flavor of Di’Anno-Iron Maiden and some Judas Priest. The singer’s voice is a combination of Mustaine’s snarls (check “Phantom Soldier”), King Diamond and Halford’s high notes and some of Araya’s lows. Bear in mind though that the vocalist’s over the top approach and the fact that his voice is so high in the mix might not strike well with a few listeners. However, the absolute highlight of the album is the guitar work along with the solid songwriting. You can find catchy memorable riffs, fiery solos and some high quality twin-guitar work. In addition coming to the “few variations” statement mentioned before, Where Evil Dwells sounds darker than Knights of Darkness (especially on “Black Circle (S.Y.L.S.)”) and includes an epic! Clocking at 10 minutes, “Where Evil Dwells” is the most ambitious song in Ranger’s young career. Comprising mainly of galloping speedy guitar playing and a few mid tempo parts, the title track is a very representative sample of the album. Of course, the warm analog sound helps the listener get in the mood of the album or even travel back in time in the era that Ranger love so much.

In a nutshell, those of you who enjoy ferocious guitar playing and riffing, relentless drumming, over the top vocals and an old-school approach will find Where Evil Dwells a very rewarding listen. Ranger have done a very good job of justifying all the recent praise by giving to their fans exactly what they expected of them and then some.



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user ratings (29)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Emeritus
March 17th 2015


12709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is released today in the US I think but a few days ago in the EU.



Full album: https://play.spotify.com/album/02Mm102TOVDmt2882pEVie



Your comments are appreciated.

tempest--
March 17th 2015


20634 Comments


album of the year 1983

manosg
Emeritus
March 17th 2015


12709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^Agreed.



"album of the year 1983"

That would be a great summary.

rockandmetaljunkie
March 17th 2015


9621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was thinking of reviewing this album, but you went ahead and did a great job.

rockandmetaljunkie
March 17th 2015


9621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's interesting ti see how many revival bands released an impressive debut during the past 2 months. Visigoth, Crypt Sermon, Ranger, Evil Invaders, Night Demon, are all to a great start.

emester
March 17th 2015


8271 Comments


Didnt even know about this. Gotta check this out

DrJohn
March 17th 2015


1041 Comments


Have a pos pal; nicely penned.
I recall having issues with the vocals (lol usual DrJohn) on the EPs. Still, I might give it a go in a few days -not in the mood atm (I'm reviewing/digging something completely different).


deslad
March 17th 2015


645 Comments


Pos from me as well man; I'll probably check this out.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2015


27975 Comments


another cool review manosg. just a small typo i noticed..

Fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint as it continues "where" Knights of Darkness left us

i'll prolly check this one out too.

Sabrutin
March 17th 2015


9798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I want to check this out and I still need to check out Enforcer, maybe even Visigoth.



First world problems aside, pretty sweet review, have a pos.

manosg
Emeritus
March 17th 2015


12709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@rockandmetaljunkie

Indeed, great debuts. I remember you recommending me Visigoth but I haven't checked it yet. I'll make it my priority.



@DrJohn

Thanks doc. You're not alone on this one. The singer gets a bit irritating at times for me too but at least he's not like the Evil Invaders dude haha.



@deslad

Thanks. Let me know whenever you check it.



@Atari

Nice catch dude. This is right up you're alley provided you're in a speed/thrash mood.



@Sabrutin

Thanks Sab. Enforcer is a pretty enjoyable listen for me but I haven't checked Visigoth yet. The rest debuts that rockandmetaljunkie mentioned are solid. All in all a good year for heavy metal.

emester
March 17th 2015


8271 Comments


Vocals are all over the place quality wise on here. Sometimes they're alright, the next minute they become ear grating. Everything else really is fantastic though, the riff work especially. Feeling a high 3.5 on this but I gotta give it more goes.

manosg
Emeritus
March 17th 2015


12709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yep. The vocalist's a bit unrestrained so he's a bit of an acquired taste.

rockandmetaljunkie
March 17th 2015


9621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Yep. The vocalist's a bit unrestrained so he's a bit of an acquired taste."



Haha, I'm sure Hans will dig this hard.

rockandmetaljunkie
March 17th 2015


9621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Digging this now. These guys know how to wield a riff or two, but the vocals are hilarious. It sounds as my little brother tries to sing while being drunk.

south_of_heaven 11
March 17th 2015


5612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not one to complain about vocals usually but these kinda irk me. Sucks cause I like the riffs.

BlackLlama
March 18th 2015


2178 Comments


"It sounds as my little brother tries to sing while being drunk."

So thrash basically :D

I've been waiting for this one.

Sabrutin
March 18th 2015


9798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Jamming now, sounds great and no problems with the vocals so far.

rockandmetaljunkie
March 18th 2015


9621 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

t/t is one hell of an epic

manosg
Emeritus
March 18th 2015


12709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was very surprised to see that these guys decided to write a 10 minute song even though they tend to write 5-6 minute ones. They did a great job though.



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