Picture of Realm

Endless War

Realm - Endless War ©1988 RC Records
1. Endless War
2. Slay the Oppressor
3. Eminence
4. Fate's Wind
5. Root of Evil
6. Eleanor Rigby
7. This House is Burning
8. Second Coming
9. All Heads Will Turn to the Hunt
10. Mang
11. Poisoned Minds
12. Theseus and the Minotaur

For some bands, you have be a full on metal enthusiast and champion to fully endorse. The late 80s saw a glut of thrash and speed metal bands signed to various labels, both large and small. It should come as no surprise that many escaped much attention and that happened for a variety of reasons. Some of the bands just weren't any good. Others were generally able to play the style with competence, but added nothing to the genre. Realm happens to be of the latter category.

Now, if you happen to gravitate towards any metal band whose singer loves to hit the very, very high notes and can wail like a soprano singer, Realm might just be for you. The band actually displayed quite a bit of musical skill with their speedy, somewhat complex songwriting and playing. In fact, if you love extensive guitar soloing, Realm again might just be for you. Endless War, the band's 1988 debut, certainly utilized many of the well known elements of speed metal and certainly put an emphasis on speed in much of the album. But for my ears, the band simply didn't excel in songwriting department. And that's to say nothing about the over the top performance of vocalist Mark Antoni. I never took a shine to Flotsam & Jetsam because their singer had the annoying tendency to shriek out shrill notes for no discernable reason except for the fact he simply could. I call that the Bjork Flaw of vocal performance.

Probably the most notable song on Endless War is their rip-roaring cover of "Eleanor Rigby", which is a speedfest complemented by the wailing vocals of Antoni. The cover is actually quite solid, avoiding being a novelty moment on an otherwise average record.

Endless War definitely contains value for the more dedicated fans of the era, particularly those who put a lot of stock in guitar solos, the high pitched vocal approach and songs that zip along at autobahn speeds. However, it is also chock full of the stereotypical aspects of the style, which might just as easily serve to put off those looking for a bit more from their thrash/speed metal.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2010

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