Reactor - _The Real World_
(Shadow Kingdom Records, 2009)
by: Quentin Kalis (5.5 out of 10)
Recorded in 1987 and apparently never released to the public, it is unclear why this has now been unleashed on the world over two decades later, especially as _The Real World_ appears to be the sum total of Reactor's output. Perhaps the involvement of several members in the earliest years of the legendary Pentagram was a deciding factor, although their label hasn't hyped up this connection. It's more probable than this being considered good, especially as their label has no shortage of quality acts that take their cue from metal's golden era. Performing a mix of thrash and heavy metal with a preference for melodious NWOBHM over thrashy aggression with a lo-fi analogue production akin to Venom, albeit with a greater mastery of their instruments. The vocalist sings in a monotone. It has not aged well; lyrics about the Evil Empire and nuclear war sound incredibly dated and readers will have no reason to consider this over established old-timers or talented retro revivalists. The album lasts for only 30 minutes and is fleshed out with a live performance from 1985. The tinny sound matches the quality of any bootleg and has obviously been dragged out of the vault for filler material. I wouldn't have been this harsh if this were a demo by 80s throwbacks, but when an album is released for the first time 21 years later, there better be a compelling reason for doing so, and there simply isn't one.

Contact: http://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com

(article published 4/9/2010)


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