The band began the writing for Realis in September 2009 in a practice space in Beaverton, Oregon. Written in half the time of their previous album, The Everlasting Man, Realis was "a lot more focused and cohesive".
Speaking of the album, guitarist and vocalist Matthew Ellis stated:
The first half [of the album] is dark and hopeless and bleak. It’s from the perspective of a man living in a world with no meaning, based around the Nietzsche quote ‘God is dead.’ The second half of the record shows the man building his beliefs from the ground up. Our goal is to address all the doubts/questions/realizations that everyone has because it’s unrealistic to paint the picture that everything is good all the time.
Ellis also stated:
It is a deeply personal record and it’s laced with doubt and fear, but I'm really proud of what we did with it and my goal is that it would stand on its own after the lights and frenzy of sermon at a hardcore show die down.
The album was recorded throughout January 2010 at the "Red Room Studios" in Seattle, WA and at "Robots Ate My Studio" in Camas, Washington. For the drum tracking and mixing of the record, A Hope for Home recruited the help of drummer Chris Common (These Arms Are Snakes). Ellis stated, "Chris is such an amazing producer and it was such a blessing to be able to work with him. He runs a studio in Seattle with my favorite producer, Matt Bayles, and those guys have done records by bands like Botch and Isis, and it was insane to work with them".