was formed in 1985 by guitarists Paul Laganowski and
Takis Kinis following the dissolution of their previous project,
Fallout, which featured singer Mark Antoni. The search
immediately for musicians to form a new band. Takis answered
an ad in a local newspaper for a band (Bloodhunt) looking
for a guitarist. Takis set up an audition and Paul came along
ended up jamming too. Paul and Takis joined forces with
Bloodhunt gang and quickly changed the name of the band to
Realm. How was the name Realm chosen? Each member got to
pick a name for the band. Each name was written on a piece
of paper and placed in a hat and Realm was drawn. It
was later learned that Paul rigged the drawing so that his
choice was the winner, good thing in retrospect.
band set out with a clear objective to create music that
was heavy, futuristic sounding, and complicated in a
of way. A goal that was clearly acheived. Despite fitting
into a heavy metal category, Realm pursued a style that often
did not directly fit with many of their contemporaries, although
certainly was heavy and fast. Some consider Realm to be a
pioneer in progressive metal, arguably helping to create
a fusion between heaviness and musicality, which often lacked
with other metal bands.
after forming, Realm had composed 5 orignal tracks and quickly
set out to get them recorded, resulting in the Perceptive
Incentive demo (1985). This quickly garnered them radio
play world wide, some great shows (including opening for
Megadeth), and caught the attention of Roadrunner Records
founder Cess Wessels.
the months progressed, with a few shows under their belts,
it was decided that the original rythym section needed to
be replaced with more technically proficient and similarly-minded
musicians. Takis had met bassist Steve Post at a basement
party, where Takis was playing bass with some friends, Impaler
(Takis only having played the bass for about
a week, mind you.) Steve approached Takis and they started
stuff -- Steve showing Takis the right way to play the Mericful
Fate riffs. After seeing Steve perform live with a local
he was asked to join Realm. Steve suggested that his drummer,
Mike Olson, come along for the tryout, and the rest is history.
The creation of new material quickly ensued. Live shows soon
followed. For the most part, Realm played original material,
but occasionally threw in covers of obscure metal bands.
Many times people believed these obscure songs to be originals.
hear Realm play a cover of a Trouble song, CLICK HERE => Live
version of Bastards will Pay with Doug Parker on vocals.
Recorded with a live mic August 15, 1986 at the Jabberwocky
in West Allis, WI. Live and Raw (maybe a little drunk too)!
a good core of new songs had been created, Realm set out
to record their second demo, the hugely popular Final
Solution. After tracking was complete, rough
mixes were made and found to be lacking something. David
Rose, friend/fan/later-to-be-guitar tech extrodinaire, was
quoted as saying, this sounds "awful." Paul's friend
and former band-mate, Jim Bartz, was allowed to take the
reels to Royal Recorders where he was interning as a studio
engineer. During off hours, Jim mixed the tracks in the same
world class facility that produced Guns and Roses' Appetite
for Destruction and Bon Jovi's first album amongst many notable
others. After hearing those mixes, Dave Rose was then quoted
as saying that it was amazing and that he should from now
on be called "infected colon" for how stupid he
felt for ridiculing the rough mixes. Fans agreed. Final Solution
hugely successful as demos go. Thousands of copies were sold,
mostly by word of mouth and the tape trading underground,
an amazing feat in the pre-Internet era.
numerous shows with Doug Parker, it became apparent that
a new vocalist was needed. A search was immediately begun.
When asked by their soon-to-be manager, Eric Greif, who is
your ideal choice? Mark Antoni quickly came to mind. Since
Paul and Takis already had a working rapport with Mark, it
seemed like a good fit. At that point in time, Mark was playing
in Firing Squad. After a few jam sessions, Mark joined the
too long Mark had learned many of the old Realm favorites
and many of the newer unreleased tracks. Eric Greif, now
manager, urged the band to record a new demo, featuring Mark.
It was felt that this would help to shop for a label. The
band set out to Gurnee, Illinois to record a demo which included,
Endless War, Slay the Oppressor, Knee Deep in Blood, Shadows
Without Substance, Echoes of the Future (pre-cursor of LaFlemme's
Theory) and the track that eventually got them signed, Eleanor
Rigby -- the
metal. Despite some cool moments and a mix by Jim Bartz,
the band was not very happy with this demo, and thus never
released it for public consumption. Why? Some of the vocal
harmonies (brainchild of Eric Greif) were thought a little
"not metal enough" and the mix was deemed less than perfect.
Thought was given to remixing but by the time this was considered,
Roadrunner Records was knocking on Realm's door.
it was the two original demos that gained the label's attention.
Then just an intern, Monte Conner, a fan and college radio
station DJ prior, brought the tapes to the attention of Roadrunner
in New York. The label was interested and wanted to hear
more, but something that included new vocalist, Mark. The
Gurnee Tapes were sent along with footage from a video shot
at one of the Jabberwocky gigs proving the band's live prowess
and audience enthusiasm. Ultimately, it was Eleanor Rigby
that was the selling point, and soon Realm had inked a deal.
then set out to begin recording their first album, Endless
War, during August and early September of 1988. Working with
a minimal recording budget, the band began tracking at Breezeway
engineer/producer Jim Bartz at the helm (same studio that
Final Solution was recrded at). Since Jim bartz lived at
the Realm rehearsal spot (Paul's house) on Milwaukee
side (42nd & Silver Spring), he knew the music well (he
didn't have much choice given the practice volume). Extensive
and diligent long hours (sometimes 18 hours per day) were
spent over the next 2 1/2 weeks to complete the tracking.
Mixing was completed at RB's Sonic Art Studio in northern
Illinois, during a marathon 10 day session with little sleep.
results were stunning for such a low budget project. The
album was released just a couple of months later and was
met with glowing reviews by the press, radio, and the fans.
then set out on their first US tour in the spring of 1989,
riding the heels of the press and radio play they were receiving.
Teamed up with Acrophet (Tirple X Records), another local
band under Eric Greif's management, a coast-to-coast tour
This is a work in progress. More to
follow soon . . .