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Exciter

Canada's Exciter was one of the first speed metal bands, bursting out of the gate in 1983 -- the year zero for thrash -- alongside other upstarts like Slayer and Metallica. But needless to say, their success came nowhere near matching those of their peers, and the band's brush with stardom was a brief one.

Vocalist and drummer Dan Beehler, guitarist John Ricci, and bassist Allan Johnson formed Hell Razor in Ottawa, Canada, in 1978. After changing their name to Exciter in 1980, the band sent their first demos to Shrapnel Records founder Mike Varney, who included the track "World War III" in 1982's U.S. Metal, Vol. 2, then inked them to a one-album deal. Issued in 1983, the band's first effort, Heavy Metal Maniac, was among the first thrash metal albums, and brought them to the attention of Jon Zazula's Megaforce Records (the home of Metallica and Anthrax), which signed Exciter to a three-album deal. After recording 1984's Violence & Force with Anthrax producer Carl Canedy, the band embarked upon its first U.S. tour in support of Mercyful Fate. The following year saw them flying to England to work with Motörhead producer Guy Bidmead on 1985's Long Live the Loud. The apex of their career, the album saw a marked improvement in both songwriting and sound quality and led to extensive touring with Accept in Europe and Motörhead and Megadeth in America.

Just when it seemed like Exciter were starting to make their mark, however, Ricci left the band for a solo career following the release of the three-song Feel the Knife EP. After finding a replacement in guitarist Brian McPhee, the band returned to England and hired Bidmead once again to record 1986's Unveiling the Wicked. Not as popular as its predecessor, the album also revealed an increasing preoccupation with melody, which didn't sit well with the band's hardcore fans. Following another bout of touring in Europe with Motörhead and Manowar, the band returned to America only to discover that its popularity was in swift decline. To make matters worse, Exciter were now without a record deal and Beehler eventually decided that not having a proper frontman was compromising the band's chances of success. So, he relinquished his vocal duties to singer Rob Malnati for their independently released fifth album, 1988's simply titled Exciter. But the strategy backfired, as the album's almost complete abandonment of thrash for a slower, mainstream metal approach alienated what remained of their already dwindling fan base and led to the band's breakup shortly thereafter.

Unexpectedly, Exciter returned to action in 1992 when original members Ricci and Beehler were joined by new bassist David Ledden for the Kill After Kill album. Another flop, this was soon followed by a live effort entitled Better Live Than Dead (with bassist Jeff McDonald) in 1993, after which the bandmembers once again went their separate ways -- seemingly for good. But Ricci wasn't quite ready to give up the ghost and resurrected Exciter yet again with a completely new lineup in 1996. Including vocalist Jacques Belanger, bassist Marc Charron, and drummer Rick Charron (no relation), this lineup recorded 1997's The Dark Command and 1999's Blood of Tyrants, behind which they continued to tour sporadically. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
full bio

Comments

we need Violence and Force and Long Live the Loud on there!
The most rock & metal stations on Pandora Radio!
phypolite7
Stand Up And Fight! None of my h.s. buds knew what the hell I meant but it was cool. Still is.
These guys were in my collection in the 80's . When metal was frowned upon ! God bless the hoodrats .
Still all good.
Great band that is often overlooked in conversation s about the start of thrash music. Can't believe there's no Violence & Force or Long Live the Loud on here.
Triumph - poor mans Rush Um, Rush is from Canada, too.
LMAO @evil_edward o nickleback is poor mans trash!
Where is Violence & Force?!? lame
Canadians always have the poor man's bands. Example, like the Datsun 280z was the poor mans Porsche.
Exciter - poor mans Judas Priest
Triumph - poor mans Rush
Loverboy - poor mans Foreigner
Nickleback - poor mans trash

Exciter Rulz...Pound i n g Metal!
one of the many good band to get their name from a JP song
gotta love that super early thrash!
michaelmccui s t 6 7 8 3
Sir Iron Heart-We all miss the 80s. Metal was real back in the Daze.
michaelmccui s t 6 7 8 3
I'm a HEAVY METAL MANIAC!
Yeah Metallica is nu-metal now, but back in the day they were thrash. There's really no debate that Kill Em All is in the same musical ballpark as Exciter.
Lets be real here, Metallica isn't thrash. They were thrash back in the days of albums like Ride the Lightning, but they are thrash no longer.
grendelgrunt
I'd rather listen to this than Metallica.
METALLICA IS/WAS NOT THRASH METAL??????? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
dude please tell me you think metallica's first album is the "S&M album"

hahahah AAAAAAALL RIGHT!... lets close the door and go...


PS: quit from listening metal...u don't deserve it ;)
whoever says metallica isn't thrash needs to take a long walk off a short pier.
Hey digression, you should get your facts straight! Metallica is the epitomy of thrash. I do agree that these guys don't sound like Metallica, though!
Why does Pandora decide to lump artists like this in with Metallica and the like? Metallica isn't thrash, and these guys don't sound like them.
james159
Stupid Canadians.
My band opened for these guys at Smiler Coogans in Chicago in the 90's. I was always a fan of these guys when I was a kid. That singer Jacque Belanger WAY WAY over-did the screams to the point of annoyance. I had to leave. He is a hell of a singer but that was ridiculous.
blood_oath13
I got to see these guys in the 80's and they rule one of the best from Canada next to Razor,long live EXCITER!!!
positiverei
Too bad they left out the info on Exciters latest release. Really good CD. These guys haven't lost thier thunder in the slightest.
ive seen this canada band 20 times the drummer spits the vocals three peace power trio . live loud and this is your game violence and force yee haw
Hail Exciter #2 on my Big Four.
Fozzy is gay
sirchrisiron h e a r t
what about VIOLENCE AND FORCE or LONG LIVE THE LOUD? EXCITER is sick! I miss the 80's!

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