Album Review: Electrocution – Inside the Unreal (20th Year Anniversary Limited Edition)
Release year: 1993 / 2012 (20th Year Anniversary Limited Edition)
Label: Goregore Records
Genre: Death Metal
Within the plethora of Death Metal bands that came out during the early nineties, it was quite easy to miss out on the gems that emerged from less obvious places (basically not Florida). Fortunately there are a few lucky bands who get revisited later by a record label, and the master tapes are dragged out from dusty corners, with new life breathed into them. Such is the case with Italian quartet Electrocution, who started out as a fast and brutal outfit borrowing from the Floridian scene, but later evolved into something more akin to Cynic or Atheist. However, before that transformation, they released Inside the Unreal, a 40-minute blast through technical-inspired Death Metal while also working in Bay Area Thrash influences, evoking the familiar mental image of long-haired sweaty guys headbanging in underground clubs in Florida.
Premature Burial gives a succinct snippet of the band’s style, as the album quickly flexes its low-end muscles in the form of the Canali brothers on bass and drums. Guadagnoli and Montaguti make up the guitar section, while the latter also delivers guttural growls throughout. There’s an undeniable groove to the songs, and a variety of tempos from Morbid Angel-fast to a doomier tone on Under the Wings Only Remains, where a very cool bass solo takes to the fore. Body’s Decay has a mid-paced stomp for a while, and one of the typical Slayer-like solos reminiscent of the ‘insane technical speed’ in the 80s. The drums, while not having many standout moments, leave little more to be desired, retaining the 90s feel through careful preservation and production.
Throughout the course of Inside the Unreal, there is not a huge amount of variation between tracks, although a few moments stick to mind. The acoustic intro to Rising Infection provides a great platform for the Death Metal to spring from, and Under the Wings Only Remains shows off Canali’s great bass soloing. The guitar solos are also top-notch, particularly the one starting Back to the Leprosy Death, and Montaguti’s guttural vocals slot perfectly into the mix. To top it all off, the band show their Italian classical origins with the finale of Bells of the End, concluding a Thrashier number with a classical piano section. A little out of place, perhaps, but it ties the album off nicely and avoids an abrupt ending.
Aside from the similarity of each track, there are few tangible aspects of this album which I actually dislike. However, I still find myself not placing it on as high a pedestal as may be expected with the review thus far. It may be due to the fact that I can hear their influences a bit too clearly, with Morbid Angel and older Sepultura jumping out at first glance. It may also be due to the fact that Inside the Unreal seems threatened to be lost in the Death Metal revival of late, but that’s more to the sheer number of new bands than any lack of quality on Electrocution’s behalf.
Ultimately, Inside the Unreal is an album that ticked all the right boxes first time round, and still does 20 years later, but lacks some quality which could lift it into the higher echelons of the American counterparts they resemble. I remain unfamiliar with Electrocution’s later jazzier output, but if rumors are to be believed that new material is forthcoming, it will be very interesting to hear how the band have changed in the time between.
My Grade: 8.0/10
Buy this when:
- you’re a fan of old-school US Death Metal, particularly Floridian bands like Morbid Angel and Death
- you missed out on this album first time round and want to get a copy
- you like fast and technical solos of both bass and electric guitar, and low guttural vocals