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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

Review online: December 7, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Messages to the Dead

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

Way back in the early 80s, Canada's Exciter gave me my first taste of "extreme" vocals, courtesy of drummer/singer Dan Beehler. He definitely has a "love-it-or-hate-it" voice and I remember taking great pleasure in liking something that most everyone else would probably hate. Long after the breakup of the original Exciter and with several demos under his belt, the man simultaneously behind the microphone and drum kit is back with a new album, Messages to the Dead.

Beehler has recruited two guitarists for this album, Scott Walsh and Sean Brophy, and bassist Brian Stephenson, who replaces the recently departed Allan Johnson (who also happens to be the bass player on the early Exciter albums). Messages to the Dead is a clear descendent of those early albums and is full of crunchy, 80s style Thrash Metal. Walsh and Brophy riff away and contribute some classic Thrash-style screaming solos. Beehler's voice remains as lovably throat-rending as ever, with perhaps a lower threshold for the high-pitched screams. The album seems to be divided between the Speed Metal of Exciter's heyday ("Jet Black," "Eternal Tormentor") and a slower, late-80s kind of Thrash ("March of Death," "Message to the Dead") with the slower tracks holding the edge in quantity. Based on the song titles, it is obvious little has changed regarding what Dan likes to sing about.

Messages to the Dead should please any fan of 80s Thrash Metal and those that worship classic Exciter will need to get this as soon as possible. With the focus on less speedy Thrash and the inevitable changes to the vocals, due to time, Messages to the Dead might not equal classics like Violence and Force or Heavy Metal Maniac, but it comes pretty close.

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