Holy shit, what is it about the Scandinavian music scene? Between Sweden and Finland, you've got some of the most amazing metal trends of the 21st century. Every new genre revival and hybrid of note in the last decade and a half has come from Northern Europe like they're taking it personal or something. But don't take this as a rant or anything; I'm fucking loving it.
Case in point, Finnish metallers Ranger are here with their highly anticipated debut album, Where Evil Dwells, featuring some of the most authentic, ball-busting, classic speed metal I've heard in some time. From the first blistering attack of Defcon 1 (of course), I swear I could smell that slightly humidity of a smoke machine billowing out behind me. Somewhere in the back of my closet, I sensed my old denim jacket glowing, like Excalibur, beckoning me to return, my red Chuck Taylors (with the anarchy symbol that skaters brandished at disapproving adults) beneath it at the ready. This is an album that should bring metalheads out from the woodwork like the barbarians in Heavy Metal, ready to kick ass and take names.
The Bottom Line: Albums like this are a call to arms for the metal faithful. If your head doesn't immediately start banging when you hear the opening riff of Ranger's debut Where Evil Dwells, it's time to download some Perry Como CDs and buy some white loafers, man. 'Nuff said.
- Genghis feels the call of the mosh pit...