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Realm is an American thrash metal / progressive metal band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that formed in 1985.

They released two underground demo tapes at first; "Perceptive Incentive" in 1985 and the landmark "Final Solution" in 1986. In 1988, the band signed to the up-and-coming Roadrunner Records label and released their debut album, "Endless War", later that year. The album featured a classic cover version of The Beatles' song "Eleanor Rigby" that they converted into speed metal form.

In 1990, Realm released their much anticipated second album, "Suiciety". It contained a more unique progressive sound than the band's earlier releases.

After fulfilling their 2-album deal with Roadrunner, the band searched for a new label. They recorded another album's worth of material, but it remains unreleased to this day. In 1992, Realm disbanded.

"Endless War" and "Suiciety" were digitally remastered and re-released worldwide under the Metal Mind Productions label in 2006 and
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REALM Endless War album cover 3.50 | 5 ratings
Endless War
Technical Thrash Metal 1988
REALM Suiciety album cover 4.36 | 3 ratings
Technical Thrash Metal 1990

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REALM Perceptive Incentive album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Perceptive Incentive
Technical Thrash Metal 1985
REALM Final Solution album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Final Solution
Technical Thrash Metal 1987
REALM Demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Technical Thrash Metal 1992

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Eleanor Rigby
Technical Thrash Metal 1988

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REALM Reviews

REALM Final Solution

Demo · 1987 · Technical Thrash Metal
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"Final Solution" is the 2nd demo release by US metal act Realm. The demo was independently released in 1986. It´s the last release by the band before they were signed by Roadrunner Records for the release of their debut full-length studio album "Endless War (1988)". They went on to release "Suiciety" in 1990 and then disbanded. In the years between this demo and "Endless War (1988)", Realm changed lead vocalist as Doug Parker left the band and was replaced by Mark Antoni. So although some of the demo tracks would also appear on "Endless War (1988)", the change on the lead vocalist spot makes the versions from the demo and the album quite different.

The music on the 7 track, 31:07 minutes long demo is a technical type of thrash metal with US power metal leanings and the occasional nod towards progressive metal. For 1986 this is highly technical metal, and while Realm doesn´t exactly reach Watchtower tech level, their playing is generally very impressive. Lead vocalist Doug Parker has a raw delivery that is sometimes spiced up by higher pitched screams. A very suiting vocalist for the style. But everyone involved actually deserve a mention. The rhythm section is exceptionally well playing and adventurous for the time, and the two guitarists play varied. Harmony sections, blistering solos, heavy riffs, melodic riffs, the whole palette.

The production is pretty much professional sounding, and considering this is a demo from 1986, it is in fact very well sounding, and I´d go as far as to say that it is more well sounding than a lot of studio releases that came out that year.

"Final Solution" is upon conclusion a very impressive demo release by Realm and it´s not hard to hear why Roadrunner Records picked them up after listening to this. Realm probably isn´t the most unique sounding act from those days, but what they deliver is of such a high quality that it should convince most fans of technical US thrash/power metal with progressive leanings. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

REALM Suiciety

Album · 1990 · Technical Thrash Metal
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"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.

REALM Endless War

Album · 1988 · Technical Thrash Metal
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Endless War is the debut full-length studio album by US progressive/ technical thrash metal act Realm. The album was released in November 1988 by Roadrunner Records. After having been out of print for many years Endless War saw a re-release in 2006/ 2007 in regular CD and digipack format. The digipack is limited to 2000 numbered copies. The original album contained 11 tracks while the re-release features the bonus track "Theseus and the Minotaur". There are some informative liner notes in the booklet to the re-release written by guitarist Takis Kinis.

The music on the album is some very unconventional progressive/ technical thrash metal. Lead vocalist Mark Antoni masters both high pitched vocals and screams but also more raw thrash styled singing. In the booklet guitarist Takis Kinis describes the music like this: "Think of the progressiveness of Rush, the harmony guitars of Maiden, the rapid fire quick lead exchanges of Judas Priest, and the speed and power of Slayer". I´d add to that the extremely technical playing on "Energetic Disassembly (1985)" by Watchtower and the intricate technical playing on "Perfect Symmetry (1989)" by Fates Warning ( especially the track "Eminence") and say that´s a valid description.

Takis Kinis mentions in the booklet that Endless War is a kind of compilation of the best material that Realm had written up until then (I guess in that way the album doesn´t differ much from most other debut albums). The oldest material (written while Doug Parker was the lead singer) is mostly featured on the latter part of the album, while the, at the time latest written tracks, which were completed after new lead vocalist Mark Antoni had joined, are mostly featured on the first half of the album. IMO that´s audible and a slight weakness on the album. The new tracks are simply superior to the older material and therefore the album starts on a really strong note but drops in quality towards the end. We´re not talking a serious drop in quality but it´s still an obvious drop and a slight issue. Tracks like "Endless War", "Slay the Oppressor" or the above mentioned "Eminence" are killer tracks though and the very up-tempo cover version of "Eleanor Rigby" by The Beatles is also a pretty entertaining track.

Besides some really great tracks (and a couple of less memorable ones) the greatest asset of the album is the high level musicianship. The band are extremely well playing and technically skilled. The guitar solos are blazing screaming shred fests yet with a melodic sensibility. Realm constantly challenges the listener with unusual song structures and time signature- and tempo changes. Never at the expence of power though and thankfully they never forget that they are first and foremost a thrash metal act.

I have a slight issue with the production which lacks a bit of power and maybe a slight polish to bring out the best in the music, and at times the sound production does become a bit strenuous. It´s not to a point where I can´t enjoy the music, but it is a slight issue.

Endless War is a very unique album by Realm. It´s one of those albums that was ahead of it´s time and maybe sadly so ahead of it´s time that it didn´t really catch on with a larger audience. Call it a forgotten gem or whatever you like, but I find Endless War to be a highly recommendable album to fans of late eighties technical/ progressive thrash metal. Despite the few issues I mentioned above a 3.5 - 4 star rating is deserved.

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