Released: 2013, Ektro Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Following the release of three cult demos, Finnish metallers Ranger finally began working on what is to be their first official release; Knights of Darkness. Set for official release in September through Ektro Records, the mini-album has already picked up interest in the band’s native country.
The album opens up with the track “Ranger”, a song that embodies not so pleasant guitar tones in its introduction but the riffs soon become a fierce roar, whereas the vocals, somewhat reminiscent of Sabbat, leave some to be desired, lacking the strength of the rest of the track. “Touch Of Death” continues the use of snarling guitars and crushing percussion though the high pitched vocal sections don’t suit the song.
“Steel Dawn” brings out fast paced and melodic guitar passages that are carried with ease by the rhythm section. The raw snapping of vocals add extra bite to the song though its the bass work that really stands out on the track. “Supreme Evil” sounds like a toned down Gorgoroth track when it starts up before the blatant thrash elements kick in. The title track, “Knights of Darkness” finishes the EP off with a slightly NWOBHM sound, only heavier and grittier though the vocals have lost some of their oomph from the last two tracks.
“Knights of Darkness” has its good moments and its bad, while its not an impressive release as such, it still makes for enjoyable listening and shows a certain, if slight development, in Ranger’s sound.
Review by Nico Davidson