One of the very first and also best Speed Metal albums saw the light of day in 1983, months before the legendary debut albums of METALLICA and SLAYER. I am talking about "Heavy Metal Maniac", the debut of Canadian EXCITER. On the Shrapnel Records-Sampler "US Metal Vol. II" we could get a first taste with the song "World War III". And the album still has it to enthuse the bangers now, 20 years later.
Comparable to MOTÖRHEAD the songs hit you without any frills and with full force into your chew tools. The album definitely does not excel in variation, but that does not disturb. Quite the contrary, the raw, unleashed energy of dum dum bullets like the very fast "Stand Up And Fight", the not less expressive title track, the slightly slower, but still very whipping "Iron Dogs", "Blackwitch" that starts out with acoustic guitars and then slowly builds up or "Cry Of The Banshee" that will dry up your last energy reserves, showing the early versions of future US Power Metal heroes (like GRIFFIN, POWERLORD, TYRANT), are among the best that the only true Heavy Metal stands for
Nothing against big choirs, nice melodies, thought through and complex song structures, but the true steel is forged with sweat inducing force. And most muscle monsters look like malnourished chicken compared to the musical achievement of the maple trio around singing drummer Dan Beehler. (Online July 25, 2003)