Exciter Death Machine

Exciter Death Machine
Even the hoariest and hairiest have a hard time keeping up with Ottawa speed metal lifers Exciter, and it's because they are a frustrating band. Somewhere between anthemic power metal, memorable trad and double-bass-drum-pounding thrash, they were always hindered by mildly inappropriate air raid siren vocals, that old career killer of having a singing drummer (they have a vocalist who just sings now) and a weird mix of goofy and "serious" songs, all of which ended up goofy in the end ― "(I Hate) School Rules" anyone? I'm not sure what to make of Death Machine's production, but I like it, all crashing, raw and in the reds, the vocal volume inconsistent from word to word (I think I just heard a mic pop on a particularly loud consonant). The songs are the same as ever: call a tune "Skull Breaker," get the drummer playing at "Painkiller" tempos, hit record, shrug shoulders, hope for the best, repeat. And don't forget that "struggling Canadian" vibe and the inconsistencies that come with it (hi, Annihilator!). I think the production actually degrades as this album progresses, or maybe that's just the ears trying hard to reject this. But you know what, ears? You can't reject Exciter; we've never been able to and we never will, even when we want to. And hails and horns to them for that. (Massacre)