Anyone who knows me knows how I love heavy metal. It’s a style of music that has so many genres and sub genres that it’s getting hard to keep track of. For starters you have Traditional Metal, NWOBHM, Proto-Black Metal, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, Glam Metal, Death Metal, Grindcore, Power Metal, Prog Metal, Nuu Metal and the list just keeps growing and growing. My favorite period for heavy metal is from 1979 – 1985. This was a time before mainstream record labels sank their fangs into metal and made the genre an over saturated monstrosity of glam and commercialized thrash.
Due to this lame trend in heavy metal, there were many bands that were completely overlooked. One band that comes to mind is Canada’s own Exciter. Based out of Ottawa, Exciter were the first thrash band to immerge from North America. Their first album Heavy Metal Maniac was released independently in January 1983, this was five months before Metallica released their debut Kill Em’ All. The problem was Exciter were in the wrong place at the wrong time (Canada). Metallica shot to stardom because the American music market was much bigger than the Canadian market. After their first album, Exciter had to get a record deal in the U.S. because no label in Canada would take them. By the time their second album was released, Exciter became just another thrash band in a sea of forgettable North American thrash. Exciter would continue to release albums and they eventually faded into obscurity. Because Exciter weren’t to well-known, history states Metallica as the first ever thrash band.
Exciter are just one band of many that didn’t get the respect they deserved. At my home I literally have hundreds of awesome heavy metal albums from all over the world that will never, ever see a re-issue on CD or on vinyl. Most of these bands only released one or maybe two lps on some small independent label and have faded into obscurity. I find this really sad. The albums which I speak of are much better than their American counterparts. For the most part American heavy metal has ripped off a lot of it’s style from Europe and Canada. My big gripe is you can easily obtain American Heavy Metal through retail stores or MP3 downloads, but the bands that I like from Canada, Germany, Brazil and the United Kingdom are getting harder and harder to track down.I personally believe America to be the worst place for heavy metal. Don’t get me wrong, there are some wicked metal bands from the States, I just think for the most part, American Heavy Metal is wussy, boring, too try hard and unoriginal. Any true metal head knows the best heavy metal is anywhere other than the United States of America.
Posted by Jay Van Deventer on November 30th 2008 in ITM News, | Next: Into the Music on CBC’s “Living Winnipeg”! | Previous: For The Love Of God Turn Down The Drums , I’m Thinking Here!