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Review: Beehler - Messages to the Dead
Messages to the Dead

Label: High Roller Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 38:20
Tracks: 11
Genre: Speed/Thrash

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: November 6, 2011
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Messages to the Dead

Rated 3.94/5 (78.89%) (18 Votes)

Well, about fucking time! I've been hearing about Dan Beehler's band for almost 10 years and knew that they had a few songs and played a show here and there, but that first album was missing in action all this time. Well, it's finally here, and it slays.

A lot has been said about Exciter not being Exciter without Dan, and while some area already saying that Beehler is the real Exciter, I must say this: Beehler is not Exciter without John Ricci's guitar. With that out of the way, Messages to the Dead does sound a lot like early Exciter when we focus only on the drums and vocals (that's not exactly surprising now, is it? ;)) Beehler's drumming is fucking ace just like it was back in the day. He pounds the drums like there's no tomorrow and hasn't lost his touch one bit. The vocals do sound slightly different, but then again, after nearly 30 years that's bound to happen. Dan can still scream at the top of his lungs and have that earwax propel out of your ears.

Overall this is really classic Speed/Thrash, Exciter-style, without sounding exactly like Dan's former band, but close enough to bring their legions of fans on board. When it's not blazingly fast, it's heavy as fuck, the combination of Dan's drumming and the heavy guitars being a lethal combination of sheer heaviness that reminds me of the good old days. The guitar playing is not as remarkable as what Ricci did and still does, but the guitarists here certainly deliver the speed and heaviness required for the style.

It's too bad that Dan and John most likely will never do anything together again, because recent materials in their respective bands show that they haven't lost their touch. The most striking thing when listening to this is that I get a similar feeling with both bands: Beehler's missing link is Ricci, and Exciter's missing link is Beehler. Well, we can't get everything we want, so instead of one great band we get two very good ones. Messages to the Dead marks the official return of one of Heavy Metal's greats, and it's one hell of a slab of old school Speed/Thrash that doesn't disappoint. Hit that repeat button on your player and enjoy the speed and heaviness of barebones Speed/Thrash for hours without getting bored one second.

Other related information on the site
Review: Messages to the Dead (reviewed by MetalMike)
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