EXCITER – Exciter (Remastered)

EXCITER - Exciter
  • 8.5/10
    EXCITER - Exciter (Remastered) - 8.5/10


Magnetic Air
Release Date: January 20, 2009

User Review
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“Scream Bloody Murder!! As my love enters you”. That folks is the rhythm of the early 80’s Metal scene. Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, you can find it all within the anthems of one of the ancient masters of 80’s Metal – the Canadian Exciter.

This group has influenced many of 80’s Thrash Metal and Speed Metal acts during the early 80s, 90s and even in current day. The album presented here, Exciter or by its first name O.T.T. (Over The Top), was originally released by Maze Music in 1988 but in 1995 the label, Magnetic Air, re-released it under its name. This year the album was released again under the same label, it comes as a show of force, and as a memorandum of a great era for a band that still draws breath today.

It all started in 1980 in Ottawa, Ontario, when John Ricci the leader of the band and its guitarist formed the group, as a trio – that existed for some time during the 80s, with Drummer / Vocalist Dan Beehler and bass player Allan Johnson. These three guys released, until Ricci’s vacation off the band in 1986, three gems: Heavy Metal Maniac, Long Live The Loud and Violence And Force. These three albums present the first wave of Thrash Metal with Speed and Heavy Metal.

John Ricci wasn’t in the band before 1991/2 when Kill After Kill was released and in 1988 when O.T.T. was released, he wasn’t there to take his part. The group enlarged from trio to a four-piece band when Beehler stopped being the lead vocalist, the lead vocals were taken by the one time screamer, Rob Malnati, from the early, short-lived Canadian Power Metal act, Crypt. The substitute for Ricci was the guitarist, Brian McPhee, which already served as a guitarist in the band’s previous album. All together they brought up a classic release, less Thrashy than the previous one, but what the heck – it’s great Speed / Heavy Metal “Bang Your Head” release with touches of evilness and Metal anthems.

Exciter, like almost every Metal band during the 80’s, were cheering for a Metal life and domination. Also they discussed some tough issues like war, hatred, death and violence. You can sense it with ease while you run through their lyrics like the amazing slow-paced anthem “Ready To Rock”. That song is in the same vein as Accept’s “Balls To The Wall” and Manowar’s “Kings Of Metal” one that keeps on growing and flourishing. It comes with heavy guitars, pounding drums, screaming solos and high pitched vocals – for a traditional Metalhead, it’s all you can eat time.

Another song of Metal inspiration is “Ready to Rock” s brother anthem, “Dying To Live” that starts as heavily with great vocal work by Malnati with the assistance of other vocals by Beehler and McPhee. The guitars here are great with awesome leads and a killing solo – “Dying To Live”!!! For the domination theme Exciter brings “I Wanna Be King”, what is more clearer than this? This one is a more Heavy Metal tune with good guitar work and the expected strong screaming chorus.

For the violent speedsters there is the best track of the album, the opening menace, “Scream Bloody Murder”, who just shows what Speed Metal is all about, true force, true vocals and guitars. Another speedster is the “march to war” like “Enemy Lines”, that charges with a killing trills rhythm that screams out 80s Speed with no remorse. Something odd here is that the song has almost the same pattern that can also be heard in the Christian Thrash / Heavy Metal act Recon in their debut in 1989 with a song with the title “Behind Enemy Lines”.

“Playing With Fire” is a gem combined with all sub-genres, a killing song with everything – rhythm, a chorus that never dies out and great drumming by Dan Beehler – a screaming classic. “Back In The Light” and “O.T.T.” have that Maiden’s feel to them with melodic rhythms alongside the heavy ones and the killing solos by McPhee. These songs are not like the ones mentioned before but they are not downers in any sort of way. They will keep you hanging on waiting for more.

“Eyes In The Sky” is another heavy Maiden / Traditional Metal number but it’s less so than the others. It has nice bass and guitar works. The hot spot in it is the solos and the rhythm after it – also not a downer.

The last track, the instrumental “Termination”, was given to the fans as a bonus. First, it’s an amazing short job of true class. It starts as a Maiden killer and keeps on coming with amazing melodies and charging slow-paced rhythms along with McPhee’s high skilled ability on the guitars and after a little more than two minutes it sends you Metal fans to go and get another Exciter album.

Exciter, today, is more linked to its Speed / Thrash Metal vibes with their latest release, Thrash, Speed, Burn. The original lineup is years gone with only John Ricci at the helm as a guitarist. Beehler has joined forces with Allan Johnson to form a band under the former’s name and Rob Malnati’s state is unknown. Exciter’s classics will surely be remembered and they will and should keep on influencing young bands that intend on doing explosive music.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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