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Realm: Endless War (remaster)

As part of a multi-album licensing deal with Roadrunner Records, Metal Mind Productions continues to release legendary pieces from Metal's history. Part of the catalog being presented is this release by the band Realm.

The album Endless War by Realm was originally released in 1988 and is really a classic piece of molten Thrash Metal. There was a lot more going on here than most of the other bands who were doing this type of Speed Metal at the time and it really gave fans of Technical Speed riffing and drums their fill. Some of the blazing speeds found here can be best found in bands of today like Dragonforce or Cellador. Of the number of interesting tracks available here they became legendary and most-known for their blistering rendition of the Beatles classic "Eleanor Rigby". It is a really unique take on the original, and while it might have infuriated some Beatles purists, I like to think that it also turned some younger Metal heads on to the band. Stranger things have happened in life. The five member group was made up of Mark Antoni (vocals), Mike Olson (drums), Steve Post (bass), Paul Laganowski (guitar) and Takis Kinis (guitar) and all of them showed tremendous amounts of musical skills across the recording. Antoni had a shriek like a banshee and the guitar pair of Laganowski and Kinis showed that Thrash Metal had additional promise as elements of Progressive were mixed in for good measure. The syncopation and off-time signatures on "All Heads Will Turn To The Hunt" show that this band would be ahead of their time. The remaster includes historical information that brings you up to speed on the group as well as lyrics and photos. There is a bonus track to enjoy as well which is strong on the harmonies and a great closer to this special CD. Sadly, the Grunge movement was imminent at this time and the band would fade into obscurity as result not long after their second album Suiciety. The remasters from MMP offer the chance to relive the majesty of Realm once again and remind us of a simpler Metal time when the lines were not as vague to the listener and you either brought it, or you sucked. Realm very clearly brought it.

Track Listing
  1. Endless War
  2. Slay The Oppressor
  3. Eminence
  4. Fate's Wind
  5. Root Of Evil
  6. Eleanor Rigby
  7. The House Is Burning
  8. Second Coming
  9. All Heads Will Turn To The Hunt
  10. Mang
  11. Poisoned Minds
  12. Theseus And The Minotaur - bonus

Added: March 5th 2007
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 3237
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Realm: Endless War (remaster)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-03-05 08:28:54
My Score:

In the mid-late 1980's thrash metal was all the rage here in the US, and one band that was definitely part of that movement but never really got their due was Wisconsin's Realm. Their debut on Roadrunner Records (remastered here by Metal Mind Productions) was called Endless War, a smoldering platter of technical thrash that brings to mind such bands as Toxik, Exodus, Heathen, Savatage, and early Fates Warning. Led by the high-pitched vocal delivery of Mark Antoni and the guitar mastery of Paul Laganowski & Takis Kinis, Realm offered up an intelligent & progressive form of thrash metal that unfortunately slipped under the radar for many, but now the time is ripe to re-discover this long lost gem.

Check out the rippling bass lines from Steve Post (obviously influenced by such players as Chiff Burton, Geddy Lee, and Steve Harris) on the progressive metal of "Eminence", a song that was definitely years ahead of its time, being quite complex, heavy, and moody. Speed-metal riff mongers like "Slay the Oppressor" and the title track contain plenty of brutal drum work from Mike Olson and wicked guitar riffs, while "Fates Wind" again shows the dexterity and progressive nature of this ensemble. Their thrash take on The Beatles classic "Eleanor Rigby" needs to be heard to be believed, and other hot tracks include the complex & doomy "Root of Evil", the rip-snortin' horror thrash of "This House is Burning", and the intricate "Second Coming", a tune that again will remind a bit of bands like Rush, Fates Warning, and Iron Maiden. Post's bass work is stellar here on this one.

A rare bonus track is included, the neo-classical/speed-metal piece "Theseus and the Minotaur", which will be a must hear for fans of the band. Complete with weaving guitar harmonies, gymnastic bass, and Antoni's soaring vocals, this one fits right in with the rest of the Endless War material. The booklet has an informative essay on the band, as well as commentary from Kinis, lyrics, and some photos. Once again, a nice job from Metal Mind on a long forgotten classic of the 80's thrash scene.

» Reader Comments:

Realm: Endless War (remaster)
Posted by Hugh Dark on 2007-03-06 15:38:42
My Score:

I have to say that Realm is one of the more interesting bands of that period to listen to. These guys can kick up tons of atmosphere in thier recordings and it is very evident that they had a wide array of influences. The biggest problem people had and will have is the singer. At times he sounds something like Ron Keel on helium crossed with a mad clown. Kinda weird. On Slay The Oppressor and Eleanor Rigby they found a way to use his voice effectively, but most other times, it just does not work well enough. The music is first rate. I believe that some of the band members must have been children of the summer of love because there is a certain amount of that vibe in this recording and the one that followed. Don't let the vocals keep you away as the music has it covered. Very experimental for its time and to a certain extent-- even now.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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