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Exciter: Death Machine

How unfortunate that Exciter's new release comes to us on Valentine's Day. With all the frenzy of shopping for flowers, chocolates, and romantic DVDs, it's a rare person indeed who would rifle through the new metal releases figuring that Death Machine is just the thing for such a love-oriented day. The cover alone is enough to raise a few eyebrows--just look at its nightmarish image surely drawn from films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Instead of the vulnerable female, though, Death Machine presents a woman who stares at the viewer, her eyes suggesting that she is more powerful than the chainsaw hovering near her. What does Exciter mean for buyers to take from this? It has little to do with music, but it certainly conveys an aggressive attitude, a spirit of not giving up.

Thrash and speed metal has been around for a long time and has certainly never given up on its own hard, punk-infused, spirit. Exciter, an influential thrash band out of Canada brings listeners new music that has as much energy and passion as ever. Death Machine begins hard and drives listeners through several aggressive tracks that remind them just what good thrash metal can do. The lyrics here focus mostly deal with the kinds of violent themes and questions raised by the shocking cover art. In an age of torture-infused politics and torture-themed horror movies, it's no surprise that artists and musicians are asking questions about the ethics of violent acts. Why are some people drawn to violent actions? What motivates seemingly senseless crimes? Exciter doesn't provide the answers, but Death Machine offers a powerful means of thinking about a violent culture.

Kenny Winter's vocals are strong and powerful and dominate every track, sometimes to the point of rising far above the backing members. I would have liked to hear more from Winter's guitar, especially since one of the hallmarks of good thrash are its blistering solos. "Slaughtered in Vain" has a great solo, but I wanted to hear more solo work throughout the album. The rest of the band, Rob Cohen (Bass) and Rich Charron (Drums) keep things moving, but we don't hear any breakout work from either of them until "Skull Breaker" which opens with some killer drum parts. Whatever you do, though, don't turn off Death Machine when this track ends. After a long pause, Winter plays an extended solo that has just enough whammy bar, tremolo picking, and bends to satisfy, somewhat, the lack of solos on the other tracks. Death Machine left me breathless; it's a solid, effective, metal album. Stand by for Exciter!

Track Listing:
1. Death Machine
2. Dungeon Descendants
3. Razor in Your Back
4. Pray for Rain
5. Power and Dominatin
6. Hellfire
7. Demented Prisoner
8. Slaughtered in Vain
9. Skull Breaker

Added: February 20th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Myspace Page
Hits: 2283
Language: english

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