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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews



Review by Gary Hill

This is a reissue of Exciter’s 1988 eponymous disc. The music has an old school feel to it and this Canadian outfit showed that what they lacked in originality they made up for in power and passion. This is a smoking old school metal album. While it’s fairly generic it is also incredibly strong. I’d recommend this to all fans of the early era of thrash and NWOBHM.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Scream Bloody Murder
A killer melodic metal motif leads us off here and builds very gradually with an old school style. This feels like some of the slower more melodic music from early Metallica. Then it shifts out to an epic metal sort of approach for a transitionary segment before launching out into the fast paced thrashy motif. The vocals seem cut from a Rob Halford tapestry, but the music here has a more NWOBHM feeling to it. There’s a cool – if a bit generic – false ending followed by a reprise here.
Back in the Light
Now, here we have a cut where the music is also rather Priest-like. The thing is, the vocals are perhaps closer to Bruce Dickinson here and as it really sinks in it feels more like Iron Maiden than it does like JP.
Ready to Rock
With a very generic lyrical theme, this combines some fairly standard musical elements, too. There are some definite Halford-like bits on the vocals, but I’d have to say that musically this seems to combine Shout at the Devil era Motley Crue with NWOBHM and Manowar. There is some Manowar on the vocals, too. It’s a good tune despite its generic nature and there’s some cool guitar work on this.
Here we’ve got a straightforward, fairly generic metal meets hard rock song that has a lot in common with Motley Crue. The guitar solo segment on this, though, is notable. 
I Wanna Be King
This is another that’s rather nondescript in terms of its musical elements. That just means, though, that it feels a bit generic. It’s a smoking tune and one of my favorites on the disc, even if it’s not the most original composition we’ve heard. 
Enemy Lines
Here is a metal scorcher that’s got a full NWOBHM approach to it. The vocals are again rather like Halford at times. I definitely hear Dickinson and Iron Maiden on this, too. They change things up with a cool, somewhat classically tinged, epic metal segment later in the number. 
Dying to Live
Old school Crue meets NWOBHM on this, but there’s also a weird little proggy section. I have to say that while I’m a prog head I feel that that segment is a bit weak. Still, it’s good to see them stretching out and trying new things. This is another killer old school metal cut. 
Playin' with Fire
While they don’t make any drastic changes on most of this cut it’s one of the more effective ones on show here. I think that the vocal performance is stronger than a lot of the rest of the disc – and that’s not saying those were weak – this just takes it to “eleven.” The instrumental section mid-song here – with it’s epic metal element – is a killer and that, along with the other charms of this track, make this one of the highlights of the disc. 
Eyes in the Sky
This reminds me of some of the more straight ahead rock and roll like music from Judas Priest. It’s another strong cut.
Here’s a fairly short (less than two and a half minutes) instrumental that’s got some old school Metallica in its recipe. It’s a tasty way to end things.
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