Realm – Endless War (1988)
A technical thrash masterclass, Realm’s histrionic, kinetic and brain-scrambling debut still pummels the senses with its falsetto vocals and stampeding rhythms; threatening to career off the precipice of plausibility at any moment!
Straddling the fine line between thrash, power metal and speed metal – Toxik are a fitting comparison – Realm’s supreme confidence in finessing the core ingredients of these sub-genres was only outweighed by their sheer technical virtuosity. The guitars are virtually impossible to pin down, a cacophonous aural caning containing endless shredding, lightning-quick picking, intricate leads, the odd surprising acoustic section and more sickle-sharp rhythm’s and hair-raising solo’s than seems humanly possible to assimilate.
The frenetic pace of the entire album only shifted into a (slightly) lower gear for the likes of the slow-burning “Eminence” and the borderline balladry of “Second Coming“, while the classic sound of “All Heads Will Turn To The Hunt” helped to calm the pace of the attention deficit soloing and endless shifts in tempo that permeated through this accomplished debut.
Also home to one of the greatest thrash cover versions in the shape of The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby”, this theatrical blast through such a usually melancholic song screamed insanity and summed up the hyperactive approach Realm adopt for the majority of Endless War.
27 years later and Endless War is still one of the greatest examples of technical thrash you’ll have the pleasure of discovering, it may be hard to find but it’s well worth searching for!