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Released: 2004, Osmose Productions
Editors Note: Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any websites were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
A while back I decided to make a list of all the bands that have issued an album of re-recorded older songs. I tend to do Metal-nerd things like that once in a while. I came up with over 60 bands that have issued a remake album of one sort or another, Exciter being one of them. Recently (as of time of writing) Exciter announced the reunion of the original line-up, so I thought this was as good a time as any to review the album of re-recorded Exciter tunes, NEW TESTAMENT.
The album cover is awesome and the line-up of the time (Belanger, Ricci and Charron) were pretty stable with a three album deal with Osmose Records. NEW TESTAMENT is the bands ninth album and the CD looks good, a nice booklet, lots of old photos in the classic thrash Polaroid/snap-shot montage scattered on a table. The album is by far the longest album with 15 songs running 66 minutes. The band re-recorded their stuff in a studio in Ottawa with Manfred Leidecker who had worked with them on a couple of previous records.
What perplexes me is that the band recorded five songs from the recent era. That doesn’t make sense to me, why would they re-record songs from the recently released albums, THE DARK COMMAND and BLOOD OF TYRANTS? They even had the same line-up, it seems like a waste and the songs are not noticeably different to my ears. Where this album has value are the 10 remade songs from the 1980’s. Well, nine songs, they redo one cut, ‘Rain Of Terror’ from the 1992 album, KILL AFTER KILL. The rest are pulled from the first three Exciter albums, which some critics say are the bands best albums from 1983 to 1985.
I think it is fantastic to hear Belanger singing the old classics, ‘Pounding Metal’, ‘Violence And Force’, ‘Long Live The Loud’ and ‘Heavy Metal Maniac. Those songs were all pretty raw back then and that was part of the charm but it great to hear them with a in your face modern production. The songs stand the test of time walking that fine line between Speed Metal and Thrash Metal. I think tracks like ‘I Am The Beast’ are improved with the bigger, backing gang vocals, and Belanger screaming his heart out. Everything sounds thicker and punchier.
Many people really don’t like the concept of re-recording albums and songs. I say they are not true fans of that band. Why would you NOT want to hear alternate versions of some of your old favorite songs? The new songs aren’t replacing the old ones at all. It is like saying you will not go see the band after a line-up change because the songs won’t sound exactly the same. Some critics say remakes are a rip-off, but they aren’t because no one is forcing anyone to buy the new versions of the songs.
My position is that I’m a big fan of remake albums and I really enjoy comparing the various versions, for better or worse, and that is why I might have rated NEW TESTAMENT a little high. I do appreciate that it is a bit of a novelty, really only to have any value for Exciter fans who know the original songs. Adjust your own rating accordingly!
1. Rising of the Dead
2. Violence & Force
3. Rule with an Iron Fist
4. Rain of Terror
5. Brutal Warning
6. Victims of Sacrifice
7. The Dark Command
8. I Am the Beast
9. Pounding Metal
10. Stand Up and Fight
11. Heavy Metal Maniac
13. Burn at the Stake
14. Long Live the Loud
15. Ritual Death
Jacques Bélanger Vocals
John Ricci Guitars, Bass
Rik Charron Drums
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