"Suiciety" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US thrash metal act Realm. The album was released in October 1990 by Roadrunner/ Roadracer Records. "Suiciety" has been long out of print but in 2006 Metal Mind Productions re-issued the album under license by Roadrunner/ Roadracer Records. The re-issue is limited to 2000 digipack copies and features the King Crimson cover "One More Red Nightmare". As the case was with the re-issue of "Endless War (1988)", there are some informative liner notes in the booklet to "Suiciety" written by guitarist Takis Kinis.
The music on the album is technical/ progressive thrash metal. The music is rooted in thrash metal with fast played rythmic guitar riffing, screaming solos and powerful delivery. "Suiciety" is not your regular late eighties/ early nineties thrash metal release though. The tracks are unusually complex with multible time signature- and tempo changes and some extremely high pitched vocals by Mark Antoni. A vocal delivery that I associate with power or progressive metal rather than thrash metal. The melody lines on the album aren´t easily digestable and upon first listen the album might come off as a bit monotone in that regard. Given time and spins I think the melodies unfold though and after a while I´ve found several hooks in the music to hang on to. Bottom line is, that "Suiciety" requires patience and full attention from the listener. It´s not an easy listening experience.
The musicianship is one of the greatest assets of the album. We´re talking extremely skilled musicians playing very technically challenging music. But it´s not only technical skill and playing that make "Suiciety" a remarkable album. The music has a very unique sound that I don´t recall having heard before or since. Early Watchtower may have been an influence, but ultimately Realm have a sound of their own.
The sound production is of good quality. There are some really cool sound effects and production tricks (phaser, stero effects...etc) spread out on the album that enhances the atmosphere. My only complaint when it comes to the sound production is that the guitar sound is a bit thin compared to the more full sound of the rest of the instruments. The drums sound powerful and I especially enjoy how audible the bass is in the mix and how intense it sounds.
The 11 tracks on the 45:35 minutes long album are, even though they are highly complex both in structure and execution, all between 3 and 5 minutes long, except for the 9:43 minutes long title tracks which closes the album, and it´s amazing how many ideas you can pack into "regular" length tracks. Some of the highlights on "Suiciety" are "Cain Rose Up (Scream Bloody Murder)" and "The Brainchild", but the quality seldom drops and "Suiciety" comes off as a highly consistent album release. It should be mentioned here that the tracklist on the first press of the album only contained 10 tracks as the short intro track "Rise" had been omitted by error. An error that has been corrected on the re-issue of "Suiciety", so that this version of the album contains 11 tracks plus the bonus track.
"Suiciety" sadly ended up being Realm´s final offering as they disbanded while writing and recording material for their third album. On the re-issue of the album the King Crimson cover track "One More Red Nightmare" is as mentioned included as a bonus track. A track that was supposed to be used for the third album. While the cover sticks pretty close to the original, Realm still put their own touch to the song, and that makes it a worthy bonus on an already excellent album.
"Suiciety" is through and through a quality release and in addition to outstanding musicianship, great production and intriguing and powerful songs, Realm have a signature sound that´s unmistakably their own. That is something only the truly great acts can muster and Realm are certainly members of that exclusive club. "Suiciety" fully deserves a 4.5 star rating.