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There is a scene in the 1986 horror movie "Trick or Treat" where the mother of the main character goes into her metal head son's bedroom and starts looking through his records. Among the handful the camera zoomed in on was Exciter's "Unveiling The Wicked" and as far as a 14/15 year old wanting to learn more about metal and would listen to anything that was heavy, it's always just stuck out for me. At least I can say I wasn't disappointed when I heard the album whenever I found a copy of this along with Exciter's first two albums at a local comic book store that sold used vinyl. But I knew there was a slight bit of difference in the sound.
Many changes we have here; First is the new guitarist Brain McPhee which is slightly different than John Ricci as far as playing style goes. Oh, the influences are the exact same as before but Brian McPhee brings in a slightly more heavier tone and more, dare I say "commercial" sound. No this is NOT pop metal by any means but there is a slight current of hard rock influences creeping in here. Second is the sound which is trying to be a throwback to the band's early days but the bass is not as fuzzy or warm. Last thing is the artwork which I've heard a lot of people complain about, but if these people knew ANYTHING it's a knock off the "V" television mini series which I'm surprised the band didn't get sued for. I like it. It's cheesy as fuck 80's metal artwork; a female ripping away the flesh from her face to show the monster underneath! A subliminal message that women are evil beings from outer space? Who knows(I seriously don't doubt this, hehe).
The first song "Break Down the Walls" is the best song on here with a main crunchy riff that seriously had me holding my ear up to the speaker because I was wondering if it was the distortion or was Brian really don't something slightly technical there. "Brainstorm" is a short instrumental which blends into "Die In the Night" where we start seeing the more hard rock influence. Well the next song "(I Hate) School Rules" almost sounds like fucking AC/DC. It didn't work for Twisted Sister, what the hell does it make Exciter think it's going to work for them? Worst song on the album. "Shout It Out" sees the band stop fucking around bringing it back to somewhere that would fit between the first two track and then we hit "Invasion/Waiting In the Dark" which could have easily come off "Violence & Force". "Living Evil" is the albums slow Black Sabbath cut and then we get into the killer "Live Fast, Die Young" which the main riff reminds me so much of "Fast As A Shark" by Accept and the killer "Night Danger" by Pretty Maids! "Mission Destroy" is another mid-paced cruncher that ends an almost disastrous album by a somewhat influential band.
So what have we learned Exciter? Don't try to pull a Twisted Sister "Leader of The Pack". Outside of that, the album follows the Exciter rule book but with a few songs that are nowhere as strong and almost filler-sounding. I would only recommend this album to Exciter die-hards who don't mind the album artwork and can look past the obvious low points.