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Reactor – The Real World

The Real World
by Yiannis Doukas at 07 March 2010, 1:03 PM

An amalgam of ultra heavy Hard Rock that crosses Heavy Metal sound like early SABBATH is what we have here from a band so deep in the chaotic USA underground that probably only 30-years-old-plus metalers from Northern Virginia or Maryland could remember. REACTOR played there starting their heavy road in the beginning of the 80s, with a line up including Steve Angel in vocals and bass, Richard Kueht and Paul Trowbridge in guitars and Ron Sharpe in drums. All of them had enough of experience with some previous bands and is quite interesting the fact that Richard and Paul were members of PENTAGRAM during the late 70s.

As I previously mentioned, REACTOR played a crossover style between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. There are many songs where we find enough BLUE OYSTER CULT elements and much more moments deep into more heavy things a la BLACK SABBATH or PENTAGRAM during their DEATH ROW period or their first two albums, like “War Machine” or the unbelievable “Ten Years Past” - which by the way lyrically differs from the whole ecological concept that the band carries with some lines talking about a spirit or a ghost. Anyway, these songs will impress you for sure together with the speedy hymn “Meltdown”. On the other hand, they have a great ability in adding some very nice melodies and songs like in “Terrorist” (with a little naïve lyrics, truth is), “(When Your) Number’s Up” or “Death By Electrocution” that win you immediately.

Richard and Ron left the band in the middle of that decade and in their place came Mike Reid in guitar and vocals together with Colin Angel in drums. We must mention that inside this album there is a song (“Greenhouse”) where we hear Mike’s voice and it is very good. An other connection with PENTAGRAM also comes with the membership of no other than Joe Hasselvander somewhere in 1987, a time where the band had changed its name to REAL WORLD, with the self – titled song having an ultimate basic riff. The end will arrive in 1990 and from then we didn’t hear anything from them.

In this album/collection we have six studio tracks previously unreleased, being recorded at the Wally Cleaver Recording Studio in 1987 with the second lineup and all of them are of the highest quality. Besides this, there are 8 other live tracks from a show at the Silver Fox in Woodbridge VA in 1985 where you will come across some excellent tunes like “Ten Years Past”, “Death By Electrocution” and “Fight Or Be Killed”.

A very pleasant surprise from a totally unknown band. For this reason we must send a lot of congratulations to Shadow Kingdom Records that brought to the surface this jewel and continues having a unique style and high quality levels in their releases, remaining purely underground.

4 Star Rating

  1. Meltdown
  2. Terrorist
  3. (When Your) Number’s Up
  4. War Machine
  5. Greenhouse
  6. Real World
  7. Intro/ Meltdown (Live)
  8. Ten Years Past (Live)
  9. Death By Electrocution (Live)
  10. Fight Or Be Killed (Live)
  11. Real World (Live)
  12. Blacklist (Live)
  13. War Machine (Live)
  14. Waste Not – Die Not (Live)
Steve Angel – Bass, Vocals
Richard Kueht – Guitar
Paul Trowbridge – Guitar
Ron Sharpe – Drums
Mike Reid – Guitar, Vocals
Colin Angel – Drums
Joe Hasselvander – Guitar, Vocals
Record Label: Shadow Kingdom Records


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Edited 27 January 2023

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