Micro Dose: Bolt Thrower – Realm of Chaos (1989)

  • Bolt Thrower
  • Realm Of Chaos
  • Death Metal
  • UK
  • 28th Oct 1989

I have always been familiar with Bolt Thrower but never so intimately as to know their albums and history. I’ve enjoyed their compilations and that’s about it. Fortunately my interview with Luke Oram motivated me to listen to one of their LP’s in full. I was not disappointed – this a killer death album with that classic old school feel. There’s also the dual appeal here for me because it’s a work that is inspired equally by metal and general nerd hobbies and interests. I don’t personally have any investment in Warhammer 40k but I can absolutely appreciate it’s art direction and extensive lore. Nerd-dom pairs so well with metal – the mix of passion, heavy themes and craftsmanship always make for something truly solid.

This album is so pure, being both a product of the time and ahead of it’s time simultaneously. It’s everlasting metal that’s difficult to switch off once it starts spinning. I’d describe the vocals and guitars as doing mostly mid range work – this doesn’t feel crazy downtuned or gargled, but rather an organic work of measured brutality. The drums seem to prevent everyone from going astray and occasionally teams up for an onslaught of double kicks. Everything sits comfortably in the mix – I don’t think there’s anything I’d change.

John Sibbick is a British illustrator in the finest tradition. These days I think he mostly concentrates on wonderful images of dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts, but back in the day he worked for Games Workshop. The aesthetic of that lurid-yet-grim future war setting complements Bolt Thrower’s themes superbly.” – Luke Oram, from our interview

This is the original cover, however due to licence expiration they now use a different artwork from the same artist:

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