Having regrouped and been renewed with energy, New Jersey's Exxplorer released their comeback album Vengeance Rides an Angry Horse in 2011. This year Pure Steel Records reissues their second album from 1994, A Recipe for Power. Here's a curious slice of the band's history. It's a picture of a band whose sound lives in Eighties, but is contending with the rise of grunge and nu-metal in the mid-Nineties.
A Recipe for Power is mixed affair of music, some hard rock and some heavy metal. At the start, Rockin' Bound is more melodic hard rock than metal, as is the later Rock the Nation. Life's Seduction, a cross between anthem and ballad, can straddle both. Then there's two odd tracks: the short acoustic driven Smelling the Roses and the cover of songwriter Harry Nilsson's One, made famous by Three Dog Night. In the midst of these five songs, a heavy metal tune only arises in Bible Black. The more traditional melodic and heavy power metal we're accustomed to from Exxplorer finally rounds out the album in the last three songs: Beg, Borrow and Steel, Just a Dream, and Ride the Storm.
With this mixture, one wonders if Exxplorer was struggling with their musical direction at the time. For certain, the band was obviously not concerned about conforming to then current trends. There's much to be said for integrity.
All said, A Recipe for Power stills sounds good. The band would go on to release a third album, Cold Black Ugly in 1997, but wouldn't be heard from again for better than 10 years. If you're a fan of the band or simply a longtime fan of classic American melodic hard rock and heavy metal, you should definitely check out Exxplorer's A Recipe for Power. After all, it's also being released on vinyl.
If you're a fan of the band or simply a longtime fan of classic American melodic hard rock and heavy metal, you should definitely check out Exxplorer's A Recipe for Power. After all, it's also being released on vinyl.
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