Exciter started life under the name Hell Razor in 1978 with Dan Beehler (vocals/drums), John Ricci (guitar/vocals) and Alan James Johnson (bass/vocals). in 1980 they changed their name to the same as the Judas Priest track of the same title (released the same year of this band's founding) to produce a high-octane Heavy Metal sound with a definite 1980s feel. Due to the strength of their 1982 demo, their Heavy Metal Maniac album followed in 1983. The year before the original demo had been sent to Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records', who included one song from it, World War III, on his compilation album U.S. Metal Volume II. Shortly after that Exciter was signed to Shrapnel Records' and the aforementioned debut album resulted.
This set was enough to get John Zazula's Mega Force Records' to rip them away from their past endeavors and sign to release Violence And Force (1984), and they then toured with Accept for their European gigs in support of their follow-up Long Live The Loud (1985) on Music For Nations'. But Unveiling The Wicked (1986) saw them face criticism for moving away from the fero of their previous recordings. It was also a set featuring Brian McPhee replacing Rucci, with Rob Malnati taking over the vocal slo t after the release in an attempt to shake off the criticisms. Their self-titled album (also known as O.T.T.), released on the Canadian Maze Music' label, followed in 1988. But despite this change and the subsequent harder edge that resulted, the Kill After Kill (1992) now on German Noise Records' label they still failed to improve their standings and the act took some time off. Featuring Dan Beehler (drums/lead vocals), John Ricci (guitars) and David Ledden (bass) with the previously recorded song Born To Kill the act returned in 1991 on the compilation album Capitol Punishment and their subsequent releases of the liveeffort Better Live Than Dead (1993).
In March of 1996 a new line-up was announced consisting of John Ricci (guitar), Jacques Bélanger (vocals), Rik Charron (drums) and Marc Charron (bass). John Ricci and Jacques Bélanger knew each other from previously playing together in a band called Blackstar in 1985/86. Noteworthy is that the two Charron's were not related. The new line-up played a few well received shows in Canada before releasing the albums The Dark Command (1998) and Blood Of Tyrants (2000; featuring Rik Charron (drums)). Their slip from view continued, however.
Their best of compilation (titled just as Best Of followed in 2003 on Osmose Productions' and was followed by New Testament - Coven Of Re-Recorded Classics (2004; compilation of re-recorded classic songs) featruing the line-up of Jacques Belanger, John Ricci, and Rick Charron.
Indeed, 2003 was a year that saw another line-up change making the band consist of Ricci and Charron, along with vocalist Rob Degroot and bassist Paul Champagne. This line-up lasted until March of 2003 when Rob Degroot was dismissed after failing to adopt the Exciter-style. As his replacement former vocalist Jacques Bélanger stepped in.The drum spot would once again flip hands in 2004 with Rob Cohen (a.k.a. Clammy (bass).
Footnote: Jeff McDonald and Paul Champagne have also held the bass roll in the act's history.