Review Summary: Listening to this album will make you a Heavy Metal Maniac
In 1983, a great new Canadian band named Exciter released their debut album called “Heavy Metal Maniac”. This must be one of the most metal sounding albums of all time. This is so metal it puts Manowar to shame. It is a fun and raw blend of speed metal and traditional metal. This album was influential to the development of thrash metal and Canadian metal in general.
The lineup was:
John Ricci on guitars
Alan Johnson on bass
Dan Beehler on drums and as vocalist
When you start the album, there will be an intro that sounds like wind blowing. Don't let this fool you, this album is pure speed metal, and if you wait long enough, the band starts playing. The band sounds wild and out of control on this album. Especially Dan, he's unstoppable on the drum kit and the mic. Unfortunately, Alan's bass is for the most part inaudible throughout the album, but John's guitar work alone is enough to satisfy. His guitar playing is very loud and very aggressive, and like Dan, he's crazy with his instrument the whole album.
The album mostly sounds like Ace Of Spades era Motorhead and Jaguar but with very gritty production. The production gives the album a raw and underground as well as a “metal” feel. Track 2 and 3 are nonstop speed metal anthems that don't let up throughout, it's as if though somebody gave Exciter steroids in the studio, crazy stuff. When track 4 starts playing, the album shifts more toward traditional Judas Priest-ish metal, but even then, the band doesn't let up. And at the end of the song, John kills your ears with one of the loudest guitar solos on a metal album.
After that, it's pretty much just speed metal and traditional metal throughout. It's not experimental or progressive in any way, it's just crazy, manic, raw, fun as hell heavy metal. Even though track 8 has acoustic guitars on it, it still cannot be considered a ballad. Exciter would continue to make great straightforward heavy metal albums throughout the 80's, but Heavy Metal Manic stands as the best example of their discography. If you are a fan of speed metal or even thrash with a raw edge and a street feel, then check this out soon.
Stand Up And Fight
Heavy Metal Maniac