Label: Magnetic Air
Released: January 20, 2009
I didn't pay close attention to Exciter back in the 80s, but looking back, I've wondered why they weren't considered at least in that second tier of speedmetal bands with the likes of Overkill, Testament, etc. They were early adopters of that happy marriage between speed and heaviness...and yet they're so often forgotten. Why?
The answer can be found on their 1986 self-titled album (now re-issued again on Magnetic Air). After flirting with thrash success over the course of four albums, the band decided to change course a bit with Chuck Beehler focusing on drums and Rob Malnati taking over vocal duties. In addition to this personnel shake up, they also took much of the speed (and therefore the excitement) out of their music. Malnati at times fancies himself a cross between metal giants Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford. He isn't as terrible a singer in his own right as he seems in comparison to these two, but his voice just can't carry the load he attempts to put upon it. To boot, the underlying music doesn't help the cause either. At its best, it's derivative Judas Priest pandering. At its worst, well...let's not even go there.
Exciter is now being issued for the fifth time (two of those on Megaforce as OTT), yet isn't essential listening for anyone. For those who missed Exciter the first time around, there are four albums that beg the question, "Why are they forgotten?" Unfortunately, this is the album that answers that question.
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