Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

September 2, 2012

Exciter ~ Death Machine

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: thrash, Canadian
Label: Massacre Records
Year: 2010
Home: Ottawa, Canada

Members: Kenny Winter ~ vocals
John Ricci ~ Guitars
Rick Charron ~ drums
Clammy ~ bass

Coming out the door as one of the first thrash speed metal bands Canada's Exciter would remain very much in the unsuccessful shadow of their peers Slayer & Metallica.
Their first few albums built up a fan following, only for it to crumble at seemingly every turn as they moved away from thrash into more melodic & slower territories & brought in a non-instrument playing vocalist. After a self-titled 1988 release debuting these changes went down in flames the band broke up for the first of many times. Two reunions would bring out a series of less than stellar albums that were more unanimously panned than any band deserves. It wasn't until 2004's New Testament that things began to look up. Though, this was really a trick as New Testament was actually re-recorded early fan favorites with some of the 90's team. Their most recent album, Death Machine, finds them with the first stable line-up in a long time & solidying their return to form. With a cover of a nearly naked woman strung up & about to start a one-sided conversation with a chainsaw that looks like a scene out a movie & would make Tipper Gore return to court for this one album alone ... warning ... this is the music your parents said would rot your mind. It may not actually rot your mind, but with a album length theme being torture & sadism, music that is brutal & but one step away from death metal, all the puzzle pieces are here for mom & dad to at least be nervous. The music is one thick slab of fast & furious riffs & slower paced growled vocals that don't fall into the decipherable realm. If Exciter's problem was a move away from thrash this is certainly a few steps back. Though, the catch is if one measures thrash by where Metallica & Megadeth are, then Exciter yet again falls into the shadows as this is nothing like those bands are doing today. It neither is highly technical, polished or slick, nor does it deviate far beyond the template into more musical experimental realms. It's also far darker than a lot of modern thrash fans might be accustomed to. This is the "Enter Sandman" Metallica wants to play but doesn't dare for fear of losing their fans. This is the Megadeth of Chris Poland. The reason this album succeeds is because its so dark, furious & adrenaline runs through with abandon. The album thrives on its pure energy.

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