Four years after the last studio album EXCITER finally come around with a new album. But who expects new songs, such as me, will be disappointed. “New Testament” is only a “best of” compilation with old classics newly recorded. Basically a good thing, as the sound of EXCITER’s early releases always was the problem of the band.
But a question mark arises as they also used albums off their two last albums “The Dark Command“ (1997) and “Blood Of Tyrants“ (2000), because you can’t really complain about the sound of “Rule With An Iron Fist“, “Brutal Warning“, “The Dark Command“, “Burn At The Stake“ and “Ritual Death“. It might have been more interesting to re-do songs from the John Ricci free times. The by now only original member of EXCITER had not been part of “Unveiling The Wicked“ (1986) and “Exciter“ (often also introduced under the title “Over The Top“, 1988). Hymns of the kind of “Live Fast Die Young“ or “Scream Blood Murder“ would definitely have deserved a reanimation.
Vocally the opener of the 92 album “Kill After Kill“, “Rain Of Terror“ went completely downhill. The rising of the chorus of this Dan Beehler hymn is brutally massacred by Jacques Belanger. There would have been a lot more possible, you thick cheeked hare! And that the “Violence And Force“ smasher “Saxons Of The Fire“ hasn’t been re-done is a minus in the book of Hawk, folks!
OK, enough grumbling. For relatively fresh Heavy Metal maniacs this is the chance to bang yourselves into a coma with the old EXCITER classics and also the old fans should try out this fresh cell treatment. (Online September 11, 2004)