FOGOTTEN GEMS: EXXPLORER- SYMPHONIES OF STEEL
U.S. power metal has never sounded so good! Keansburg, New Jersey cult band Exxplorer formed in 1982. This was an epic debut album that showcased straight ahead metal that took power metal and provided it with a much needed spark. With high range vocals from Lennie Rizzo the band presented an album that pulled from speed and thrash while keeping an eye planted on power metal's true edge. On opener "City Streets" Ed Lavolpe and fellow axeman Kevin Kennedy start the show a vintage sound born of classic metal. By 1984 the yard was filled to the brim with dime a dozen metal band. 80's metal is a fine art in and of itself and some got that better than others. Exxplorer fell into that second camp. Including a piano moment with "Prelusion" showed that power metal could be eventful. Anyone could enjoy your band down the lane playing two fisted metal. Having that band step out and make a statement though showed that these guys were on to something good. "Run For Tomorrow" is much more than a true headbanger of a number. Powerful riffs swirl in and out allowing Lennie Rizzo to do his best work. With riffs thick enough to cut with a knife Exxplorer had bottom end Black Sabbath/Motorhead heaviness down pat. With a voice that recalls Paul DiAnno (Iron Maiden) Lennie could take a number like "Objection Overruled" and make it a lost Iron Maiden classic. The title track is a statement that the band meant business. "World War III" showed the band making epic metal their own. Between the mellow guitars and Lennie's softly spoken plead for a better world the song builds to a monster rock. Yes it is a ballad from an age when they were all the rage. While not the best of the bunch it does enough to get by. "Metal Detectors" was born of W.A.S.P and Shout At The Devil ear Motley Crue before it picks up speed spelling out 80's metal. While set in a time when the world was more about NWOBHM and glam was picking up speed Exxplorer stuck to their guns and pulled out true metal. A one of a kind gem Symphonies of Steel stands the test of time. It has been re-released and re-issued a handful of times with different album art and bonus cuts. With the band working on a new album (due sometime this summer if things work out) the time has come to see where it all began.