EXCITER - HEAVY METAL MANIAC (Shrapnel Records)

 

                               (Review by Officer Nice)

''I'm a Heavy Metal Maniac! Stand Back''! Can a song contain more pure feelings about our favorite kind of music? I suppose it can't. These tunes, from the Canadian band Exciter, are aged from 1983 but became eternal since. The beginning of the Speed Metal movement, later called Thrash Metal, was born in this particular year. Not that Exciter were founders of Thrash but pretty similar with other bands they changed the traditional style. Let's go back to these ancient times.

 

The Heavy Metal movement was easily becoming important when Exciter released their very first LP. They switched on the gear button and made the music sound faster and louder. Although the riffs were still traditional the listeners could hear some major differences. We can't say these musicians were virtuosic but they knew how 'modern Metal', in that era, should sound. Especially the fact the vocal lines were more aggressive and the snare drums counted more hits was remarkable.

This 'golden oldie' starts with an instrumental threatening intro until an explosion takes the real start of the album. Shouting ''Fight'' gave birth to the first introduction to Exciter's hotheaded music. 'Stand Up And Fight' is an impulsive song, screaming anger and outrage. 'Heavy Metal Maniac' is probably Exciter's most famous song and makes you shout the chorus time after time. This song became a hit in the Metal scene and I remember hearing it several times on the radio. The Belgian national media centre had in that year an one hour lasting Metal show and Exciter had airplay, unbelievable we don't have it anymore.

The hot-tempered feelings Exciter delivers brings you in the perfect mood to show the world what’s beyond our way of life. 'Iron Dogs' is slowing the tempo down but not the power. The tempo is rising again with 'Mistress Of Evil' and the typical ingredients stays for the entire album. Another cool track is 'Under Attack'. It is the kind of Metal that became a trademark for this trio. Very bizarre was the fact drummer Dan Beehler was also the vocalist, pretty difficult if you ask me.

 

Together with Anvil Exciter were Canadian's best Metal products. In the early eighties both bands played an important role, especially the underground scene was fond of both groups. Both toured around the world and helped to show Heavy Metal the new direction. Especially Exciter was the foundation for the way some new bands wanted to sound.

 

The career of Exciter isn't finished yet. Releasing the follow up ''Violence And Force'' made Exciter popular although criticasters were furious, thinking the front cover had a racist message. Not that this was a fact but it gave Exciter a lot of attention in those days, although they didn't really need it. ''Long Live The Loud'' was another good album but afterwards Exciter was judged to play a more discrete role. Pretty obvious because many other bands were defeating the world and Exciter sounded 'dated'. Exciter wasn't able to come back to the front rows and didn't change their style for a bit.

 

Dan Beehler left the band and was replaced by a real front man, the intelligent and educated Jacques Belanger. His vocals were higher and stronger, often he was compared to Rob Hallford. Exciter released once again good albums but stayed in the underground. With the new singer these Canadian boys re-recorded the old hits but without major success. It was their last official release and meanwhile a new vocalist joined the band. A new album is waiting for release. I'm curious what the future will bring... 

Exciter was more than a child of its time. Delivering the goods by adding more power and speed in their music made them the founders of what we call Speed Metal. Let's honour them for it.

My Points: 100 / 100