Canadian thrash metal pioneers EXCITER will have three of their classic albums — "Heavy Metal Maniac" (1983), "Long Live the Loud" (1985) and "Unveiling the Wicked" (1986) — re-released on March 15 via Megaforce Records. All three releases were remastered by Jeff Waters (ANNIHILATOR) and include bonus tracks.
The Ottawa band was formed in 1979 by drummer Dan Beehler, bassist Allan Johnson and guitarist John Ricci. An early recording, "World War III", was picked up by Mike Varney's Shrapnel Records and the rest is history: metalheads were hooked on their raw, wild sound, long before thrash/speed metal had even been defined.
Drawing influences from British-style heaviness, their music is best described as a mutant cross between JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, and MOTÖRHEAD, done EXCITER style. By the time the debut record "Heavy Metal Maniac" was released in 1983, advance orders for 15,000 units had been placed just from the street buzz alone. The band would go on to sell hundreds of thousands more and have a huge influence on other now-well-known bands of that time.
By the end of 1983 EXCITER was signed to Megaforce Records, founding label to some of the most important and biggest names in metal (METALLICA, ANTHRAX, MANOWAR). They recorded their classic record "Violence and Force" and followed it up with "Long Live the Loud".
The release of these records had the band touring the world with the likes of MEGADETH, MOTÖRHEAD, MÖTLEY CRÜE and VENOM. 1985 also saw the departure of guitarist John Ricci. EXCITER forged on with the release of "Unveiling the Wicked" and "O.T.T.", playing in front of as many as 10,000 people per night in countries like Brazil.
In 1990 the original line-up joined forces again and made the album "Kill After Kill", then triumphantly returned to Europe for another successful tour. The band returned to Canada and recorded their first official live album, "Better Live Than Dead"; this would be the last collaboration that would mark the end of the legendary EXCITER lineup.