“Speed and Violence”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Y’ think these guys have heard of Exciter? You’d never guess from the title and cover art of this one, would ya? Boys, I know you love Exciter, but this cover art might get some lawyers involved. Sheesh!

That being said, at least Ranger has the talent and the dedication to pull off such bald-faced band worship. And “Speed and Violence” also occasionally brings other bands to mind as well. I feel they also sound a lot like the old German speed metal band Iron Angel, especially the shrill and shrieky vocals. They have certainly mastered that very specific sound of early 80’s speed metal. With the exception of the mega-pointless “Intro” and the almost as useless instrumental “Evil Barrier”, this rips with full velocity and old school melody. Fave cuts for me are the title track, “Satanic Panic” and “Shock Troops”.

The problem is that Ranger needs to evolve some to stay a force. They’ve proven their affinity for Exciterish thrash beyond the shadow of a doubt. From this point on, churning out another record like “Speed and Violence” will just be an exercise in redundancy. That doesn’t mean they need to go deathcore or start playing with symphonic black metal. It just means they need to break the mold a little bit while staying true to their core. “Speed and Violence” is a kick for nostalgia freaks but it’s the next album that will tell the tale for Ranger.