This past weekend, my wife and I ventured down to Anaheim to get our Disneyland fix. But the magic kingdom wasn’t the only destination on our agenda; Mrs. IG built some time into our busy itinerary to make a stop at the mighty Dark Realm Records. For those unfamiliar, Dark Realm is the Los Angeles area’s only all-metal record store and is run by brothers Rick and Bay Cortez of the legendary Sadistic Intent. I first visited the shop roughly six years ago and was blown away by the selection of CDs, shirts and various other heavy metal goodies, so I couldn’t wait to finally make my second pilgrimage.
Dark Realm has recently moved to a new location, but don’t let the blacked-out windows and lack of signage fool you, the store is very much open for business with a killer selection of all things metal. This time around I was able to fill a glaring hole in my CD collection, picking up a copy of Blasphemy’s recently reissued classic Fallen Angel of Doom. Additionally, I grabbed a cassette copy of Morbosidad’s Tortura EP, as well as a black vinyl copy of Sadistic Intent’s Reawakening of Horrid Thoughts EP and a sweet Sadistic Intent shirt. I could’ve easily spent a fortune, but sadly I don’t have a fortune to spend, so I had to limit my purchases.
But what might have been the coolest part of my visit to Dark Realm was getting to spend a few minutes chatting with Sadistic Intent guitarist Rick Cortez. It’s not every day that you buy a record and get to talk with someone from the band about how it was written and recorded! It was a pleasure to listen to a veteran underground musician talk about his band and their craft, and it was obvious that Rick genuinely cares about the folks that visit the store and listen to Sadistic Intent. A very cool experience all around.
I encourage any metalhead who ventures to the LA area to be sure and stop by Dark Realm. You definitely won’t regret it; just don’t be surprised if you leave with an empty wallet and a bag full of awesome metal.