"Death Machine"

By Dr. Abner Mality

The new Exciter release is just as frustrating for me to review as their last one, "Thrash Speed Burn". You can check out what I said about that one HERE and pretty much apply it word for word to "Death Machine". The only real difference...and it's a positive that the infamous John Ricci guitar sound is truly brutal and heavy here, making this over-all heavier.

It's strange because I love what this band brought to the metal scene and I desperately want to love their new material as much, but it is as simplistic and formula as you can get in the thrash realm. The songs are bursting with easy, easy, EASY riffs and chords that are repeated ad infinitum. In some cases, such as the title track,  it really does create a kind of hypnotic headbanging effect. In others, it creates more of a bland mush, such as on "Dungeon Descendants" and the stupifying "Slaughtered in Vain". The tunes are basically just minor variations on what Exciter has been doing since "The Dark Command". Even the cuts I really like, such as "Pray For Pain" and "Demented Prisoner" are completely formula. And those brainless choruses!!! Just repeating the song title endlessly...come on, John! Kenny Winter should be able to handle more than that! To top it off, we've got an album cover of the "Smell The Glove" quality.

Yet I like Exciter and they still thrash like hell, you can't take that away from them. On my recent review of Beehler's "Message From the Dead", I suggested that Dan Beehler and John Ricci call a truce and bring back the REAL Exciter. I still hold to that, because both acts are still missing something essential they possessed in the early days of Exciter.