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on 23 August 2006
A devastating sonic assault by BT, with the guitars coming through especially strongly.

Overall style and sound are perhaps just a little dated. This was one of the best thrash / death albums of the 80's and, whilst it has a definite 80's feel it remains hard hitting: classic rather than old fashioned.

Fine cover art by some cult artists adds valuable atmospehre and context to these tales of war, reckless hatred and pointless slaughter.

I defy you not to "air guitar" to the riffier bits.

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on 26 October 2001
Boy, does the reviewer below have it wrong! 'Realm of Chaos' is one of the all-time undisputed classics of death metal!
Released in 1989, just when extreme was really taking off, the album was instantly a 'hit' (if such a term can be applied!) with DM lovers. Music-wise, it is primarily mid-paced Death Metal with regular excursions into blast beat territory. What makes this album so special, however, is the RIFFS. So many of them are so downright catchy, it beggars belief.
Lyrics are centred around war, with matching artwork provided by the Games Workshop studios.
Perhaps the only complaint is that the production is sometimes a bit murky, something which was rectified on their follow-up, landmark, 'Warmaster' album.
Overall, an album which MUST be heard by any fany of any type of Death Metal.
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on 15 May 2015
In my humble opinion "Realm of Chaos, Slaves to Darkness" by Bolt Thrower is without a doubt the heaviest album ever released! A friend of mine played this album to me in 1989, it was the LP picture disc version. I fell deeply in love with the music and the artwork and ordered the gatefold vinyl and picture disc the very next day. The next two weeks spent waiting for my massively desired goodies were agonizing to say the least but sure enough they arrived on time and I was elated!! I couldn't wait to get them home and spin the black vinyl version and when I did I was in Grinding, Doom Death Metal heaven! I was so impressed with the black and white comic book style lyric booklet from the Games Workshop team as it really made listening to the album a more intense experience. I was lost in the world of the "Chaos Hordes and the "Space Marines" with Bolt Thrower supplying the awe inspiring and apocalyptic soundtrack. To this day "Realm of Chaos, Slaves to Darkness" is my favourite Bolt Thrower album. This monolithic slab of Grinding, Doom, Death Metal was so far ahead of its time that it wasn't until recently with the advent of eight string guitars that newer Death Metal bands could match its heaviness. This album is a bench mark in Extreme music and in my mind will always be, it stands on its own and is a law unto itself. This album is for serious Death Metal Maniacs only and is not for the timid!!
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on 23 February 2009
In 1990, whilst in the perpetual pursuit of the heaviest music forms, a friend of mine handed me a cassette tape and asked for my opinion. `Bolt Thrower - Realm of Chaos' was scribbled upon the front of the cassette and that alone brought a smile to my face. I placed the tape into my cassette deck and pushed play... the quality of the recording (as was the case with most tapes in those days) was astonishingly bad and it sounded as if some form of juggernaut had been unleashed within my stereo and was systematically destroying it from the inside out. The recording was bad but I was still aware of the sheer brutality of this album.

Almost twenty years on, it was the only Bolt Thrower album that I did not own on CD (apart from the one with a different vocalist) so I recently purchased it. The production is obviously not as good as that of later releases but this album is simply superb. Its riffs are doom-laden and heavy but so catchy that you may even find yourself dancing along. The blast beats, a thing eradicated from later albums, always arrive at just the right time and force me to beat invisible drums each and every time. I have uploaded the disk onto my ipod and I am addicted to listening to it as I sit at my desk at work... each time I find myself dancing in my seat and tapping my feet to the catchy riffs whilst being overwhelmed by the force and power of each song. This album is a must for any Bolt Thrower or Death Metal fan.
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on 22 March 2006
Just read the review of the guy who was into this one on Vynil at the age of 9. I am currently listening to this record at home. I discovered this record when it has been released, late 80's. I have been into several different kinds of music since including rap, rock, techno, ambiant, jazz, death etc....
One thing I can tell you is that this is an absolute reference for anyone who is into Extreme Culture. And for Trash records, let me see, people like Slayer and "Reign in Blood" (obviously), Voivoid with "Nothingface", Sabbat with their "Dreamweaver" (most incredible concept record), Pestilence and their "Consuming Impulse", Morbid Angel (of Course !) with "Altars of Madness", Bathory and "Blood Fire and Death", Dark Angel and "Leave Scars" and few other ones.... well - they just got it right. I don't know how to explain. Once you are into it, you are Absorbed. Frightening, but friendly once inside. Many small crying US melodic contemporary singers just think they make LOUD music, like all those surfers wearing west coast tatoos etc.... - but hey, let me be a bit sarcastic. it's not because you jump on a fuzz pedal when attacking a chorus that you take an audience on a trip. Sorry darlings, Masters will remains Masters. And Bolt Thrower with this record explained us what grind was meaning. Leaders of Men.
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on 23 July 2003
From when I was 9 I was listening to this album, when it was released on Vinyl. I still have the Vinyl, but I wish to have it on cd, so hence, I buy. I buy because this must be one of the all time classics of the Death Metal Genre, and I'm telling you, you will never hear an album like this in your life. This is an album where you will like every track and you will want to hear them again and again, as said before, I have been listening to this album for 14 years now and it gets better everytime I hear it.
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on 10 October 2015
Great Album, AAA+++
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on 24 November 2006
Bolt Thrower are true stalwarts of the UK extreme metal scene. Their sound on Realm of Chaos is heavy, groove laden, but alas, some what dated.

BT were always touted as a "grindcore" outfit throughout the late 80's and early 90's, but in truth they were no more 'Grind' than any of the mainstream death metal acts at the time. Grind, for me, during this period, was the likes of Napalm, Carcass, ENT etc...

Realm of Chaos has all the ingredients of an early death metal release. Flash cover art, themes of death and war, mainly set in the future, and chaos as was set by minature based gaming company Games Workshop.

As for the music itself, there is a real leaning towards Morbid Angel riffs circa Altars of Madness. You have to listen hard, but they are well mixed in their. The solos are very "Trey" like too. The guitars on ROC cut between slow, mid paced and semi fast attacks. The vocals are excellent, with that early Cookie Monster growl, and, as was the way back then, you can actually understand whats being said.

The big draw back about this album, and the next two if I'm honest, is the repetition between songs. The riffs are all pretty much similar, and when they do differ, the structure of the track is easy to estimate. Slow opening repeated riffs, vocals slowly unfolding the pretext of the story, then a barrage of percussion and your off into mid paced death metal.

World Eater is the obvious stand out track on here. A true classic, with enough raw "metal" to build a battle ship! This track alone makes up for a hell of a lot of low points to the album. I think the reason I find it hard to listen to, and found it to date very quickly after I bought it new (yeah, all us oldies are coming out of the wood work now..I'm 29, and have this on gatefold sleeve, "gore splatter" vinyl !!)was because it couldn't compete technically with the likes of Autopsy, Death, Obituary (Slowly we Rot just closed the door on most things!!!) etc...

I'm proud that a UK band have become such a big success in the world wide death metal scene, but unfortunetly their sound just wasn't for me.

Comparing it to todays stuff, Nile, Cryptopsy, Akercocke (if you want a brit comparison) this old school death metal can only seem a little dated and very very basic, if it wasn't magical in the first place.

Symphonies of Sickness, Slowly we Rot, Left Hand Path, Altars of Madness, Eaten Back to Life, these types of albums stand the test of time because they really are magical !!! Realm of Chaos.... uuuummmm.... is not.
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on 10 June 2015
Very Pleased!!!
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