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Review: Exciter - Thrash Speed Burn
Thrash Speed Burn

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 45:38
Tracks: 10
Genre: Speed/Thrash

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: July 1, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Thrash Speed Burn

Rated 4.07/5 (81.33%) (30 Votes)

I had not realized it had been 8 years already since Exciter's last studio album, Blood of Tyrants (2004's New Testament being a re-recording of old songs with the line-up of the time.)  Long time, and on a new label after a few years with Osmose.  I find it quite annoying that I couldn't buy this album without paying import prices, considering it's a local band.  Anyway, on to the album.  Singer Jacques Bélanger has left the band for the second time, and this is the first album with newcomers Kenny Winter (vocals) and Rob Cohen (bass.)  No, Beehler isn't back and as far as I know it's not going to happen, so stop whining.  Thrash Speed Burn is rather aptly named, the band having produced yet another furious onslaught of Speed/Thrash.  The music does bear more resemblance to their "recent" output than to their early albums, but one can hear a few hints of the Exciter of old popping up here and there - at least as far as the guitar playing goes.  The new singer tries less to sound like Halford than Bélanger did, not trying to exceed the range he's comfortable with.  High-pitched vocals are used profusely, but there's also a more toned-down style used when the music warrants it.  He sounds a little bit like a mix of Jacques Bélanger and Bob Mitchell (Attacker.)  Overall I'd say they made a good choice with this new singer, and I'd be curious to hear him on the old material.

The music is heavy as hell, and loud.  It's Exciter, so of course we get a good dose of fast-paced songs, but there are also some much slower, heavy pounding tracks that make you feel like you just got run over by a tank.  The drums are particularly busy, you don't need to crank this up to 11 to feel the walls shake, but there are times when the drum sound gets a little muffled - not often, but noticeable.  The guitar and bass are so crunchy and heavy at times that you'd swear there's two of each.  Lots of catchy riffage can be heard throughout the album, same for the vocals on such tracks as "Thrash Speed Burn", "In Mortal Fear", "Evil Omen" and "Betrayal" - these four have been stuck in my head for months now, and they just won't go away.  But then again, the same could be said of pratically the whole album.  John Ricci can still deliver the goods after all these years, cranking out riffs and solos like there's no tomorrow.  I was a bit wary that the band could have lost it after such a long hiatus, but Thrash Speed Burn is proof that these guys can still deliver the goods.

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Interview with drummer and vocalist Dan Beehler and bassist Allan Johnson on December 20, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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Interview with guitarist John Ricci on November 13, 2017 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with John Ricci (guitar) on January 3, 2011 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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