top of page
  • Jason Hesley

Seattle Thrashers BITTER END To Reissue Their 1990 Opus 'Harsh Realities'

August 12th release date set; Pre-orders now available for limited-edition colored-vinyl reissue!

M-Theory Audio will reissue “Harsh Realities” from Pacific Northwest thrashers, BITTER END. The Seattle group's 1990 release – produced by Randy Burns (Megadeth, Kreator, Death, Nuclear Assault) and featuring cover artwork by Jim Warren (Loudness, Lizzy Borden, Heir Apparent) - garnered critical acclaim and a cult following for a thrash metal assault that bludgeoned ears with musical precision that appealed to fans of acts such as Megadeth, Forbidden, and Testament. Originally released by Metal Blade Records, “Harsh Realities” is set to be reissued on August 12th by M-Theory Audio with a new interior 4-panel layout featuring lyrics, extra flyers and photos and new liner notes from guitarist/vocalist Matt Fox on limited-edition (300 copies) radiation green with orange haze colored-vinyl. Pre-orders for the upcoming reissue are available now HERE.

“What a thrill to see ‘Harsh Realties’ re-released in 2022, and for vinyl to be the format that brings Bitter End to a new generation!” exclaims guitarist Russ Stefanovich.

“I am really excited to see ‘Harsh Realities’ reissued,” adds bassist Chris Fox. “It was originally released when metal was phasing out, having become a parody of itself with the hair bands, the excess, and the rise of grunge. Nice to see that chops and passion never really go out of style.”

The roots of BITTER END date back to the early 1980's Southern California upbringing of then-teenage brothers Matt (guitars) and Chris Fox (bass), who began jamming together after being inspired by then-local acts such as Slayer and Armored Saint, and then-burgeoning Bay Area acts of the time such as Metallica and Exodus that would travel south for live performances. The brothers would relocate to suburban Seattle in 1983, and would join forces with drummer Harry Dearinger and later, guitarist Russ Stefanovich, to form the classic lineup of BITTER END with Matt taking on lead vocal duties. The group were mainstays of the late 1980's pre-grunge Seattle heavy metal scene that also gave rise to fellow Pacific Northwest thrashers of the era such as Forced Entry and Panic.

After the success of their demo tape, “Meet Your Maker,” an underground favorite amongst fanzines, college radio stations and tape traders BITTER END signed with Metal Blade Records and released “Harsh Realities,” their lone full-length record, in 1990. The album received strong reviews at the time from Metal Forces and Kerrang!, and the music video for the title track received airplay on MTV's “Headbanger's Ball.” The band cultivated their live presence with prolific shows in their hometown scene alongside future giants such as Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, and toured alongside fellow thrash greats such as Sacred Reich and DRI. The group began tracking their follow-up record at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle with Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney) handling mixing duties, however the shifting tides of the music industry and creative differences resulted in the dissolution of BITTER END in 1992 before their next album could be completed.

The members of BITTER END continued to pursue further musical endeavors in the years that followed. Matt Fox would go on to play a part of a re-formed lineup of 1980's thrashers Holy Terror and punk rockers Zero Down. Chris Fox has performed in a number of acts, and most notably handled bass duties on Geoff Tate's 2002 debut self-titled solo record. Russ Stefanovich has performed in the years since with Seattle heavy metal acts Midnight Idöls and Demon Dogs, while drummer Harry Dearinger has continued to be a consistent presence within the Seattle heavy metal scene. The remains of the proposed second BITTER END album were eventually released in 2011 by Metal on Metal Records as part of the “Have A Nice Death!” compilation - which will also be reissued later by M-Theory Audio – and include the esteemed “Meet Your Maker” demo.

9 views0 comments


bottom of page