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"Inside the Unreal" spawned, coiled, and vanished similar to that of a typical death metal shadow of its time. Electrocution, authors of the aforementioned effort, were an Italian squad that replicated bands like Death in their heyday and supposedly shifted into progressive/technical death metal territory ala Cynic or Atheist before permanently showing the beast the door. Electrocution never reformed or made an attempt to familiarize the world with their assault, but some folks found "Inside the Unreal" and gave it a cool re-release in celebration of its two decades of dormant dominance. Electrocution's style could accurately sneak into the quarters of Death, Morbid Angel, and other Florida-based death metal factions of the early 1990s based on the musical fulcrum within the suppressed consciousness of "Inside the Unreal," and to call the release a bestial onslaught would grossly underestimate the unrelenting complexities of Electrocution's pedigree.
I guess if you want a specific description of "Inside the Unreal," refresh yourself in Death, Malevolent Creation, Sepultura, maybe a little Possessed or Morbid Angel for good measure. Lots of thrashy death metal here, filled with all the primitive growls, insanely brutal percussion, smoldering guitar work, and unrelenting force constantly burning through the Earth. The riffs are all caught in the same foundation of style and structure, but the sheer might coming from each chop just makes me want to slam my head into a wall; this is crisp, shearing, toxic death metal. No frills, no gimmicks. The overall sound is frantic and punishing, and there's no doubt that these dudes were firing on all cylinders during the writing and recording of this album based on the sheer energy oozing through Electrocution's performance.
That's probably the finest quality of the album not including the astonishing instrumentation; the amount of dark animation coursing through the record's blood is an unmatched accomplishment. My favorite song from the whole affair happens to be "Ghost of the Past," which just explodes into a fleshy feat of pure meat and gore; like the remaining effort, it slays without mercy. Oh yea, the sound quality is also unbelievably incredible, especially the tones they acquired for the guitar solos. It's raw, fierce, honest, and a true testament of fantastic death metal shoved into its filthy hole of a residence. In essence, "Inside the Unreal" is old-school death metal in every way, and only a clown would consider it weak or too primitive.
Thanks to the work of legitimate record labels and informed metalheads, buried artifacts like "Inside the Unreal" are awakened from their timeless slumber, ready to feast and maul on fools that dare investigate the hidden chambers of death metal's forgotten creed. You may not find Electrocution compelling compared to Death and pals, but the stylized violence within the band's first and last album strikes just as hard as the aforementioned faction, and there's not a single trace of pedestrian songwriting or instrumentation hiding inside the mystery of this record. I thoroughly enjoyed the aged scriptures of Electrocution, and it just goes to show that classics and gems still lurk beneath the mortal soil of time. Thankfully some folks love exhuming the deceased, and for that we should all give them our eternal praises and high-fives.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com
The early 90s was a good time for metal in general, with the rise of pioneering American death metal bands such as Death, Atheist and Obituary. Apart from the rising death metal genre in America, other regions were experiencing this growth at the same time, and Electrocution hails from Italy, with their debut (and sole) full length album, Inside the Unreal, originally released way back in 1993 as death metal has begun to go into its mature stages.
It is perhaps not surprising then that the style of death metal that Electrocution plays leans closely towards the more thrashy spectrum of the death metal genre, and right from the beginning the blistering speed that the band travels at one is immediately reminded of such acts as Death, as compared to the dark sound that Incantations prefer. The thrash metal influences are also clear in the guitars of Alex, where he unleashes insane and chaotic guitar solos in the veins of Slayer's Kerry King, apart from the urgent riffing patterns. The style of vocalist Mick are a savage, deep, throaty growl, helping to bring in the element of brutality in the band's music, and all these are backed by the frantic drumming of Luca, punishing the kits relentlessly. The songwriting abilities of the band is constantly shown off throughout the album, with the band somehow managing to bring about some sense of order despite the whole commotion going on.
The band's later material also lean towards a more technical/progressive style in the veins of Atheist, and Inside the Unreal contains some moments that see the technical side of the band rear its head. Rising of Infection, for instance, contains many sections that are reminiscent of Atheist, from the odd time signatures, the numerous tempo shifts on the track, to the complex riffs and soloing style of Alex on the track, though Electrocution's style is much smoother with fewer of those jarring moments. There are even times when Mick's vocals somewhat bear a resemblance to Kelly Shaefer's, further increasing that comparison to Atheist. One other thing that is notable is how the album manages to retain its old school feel despite the remastering that the album has gone through.
There are numerous excellent death metal acts alongside bands like Electrocution that have for some reason come and gone with just a single album and faded into obscurity. Fortunately then, there are still labels out there that help to ensure that excellent acts such as Electrocution, Death Strike and the likes remain fresh in fans' memories through the numerous reissues of hard-to-find albums. Inside the Unreal is a true masterpiece and any fan of death metal will find himself unwittingly going back to it again with its old school charm.
In short, Electrocution is an obscure Italian death metal band that sounds like they were right in the middle of the Floridian scene, with a definitive Morbid Angel edge to their sound, albeit with more technicality that gives it an identity of its own. Sounds good, right?
The opener here is ‘Premature Burial,’ and after a the soft intro, it immediately lets you know what’s going to happen for the next 35 minutes of your life. What we have here is blistering death metal with technicality and some thrash influence. While the transitions here are quite nifty and better than Morbid Angel on more than a few occasions, the solo here does reek of something straight from Altars of Madness. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not.
‘Rising of Infection’ shows off more of Electroctuion’s technical side, and holy hell, it’s really fun to listen to! This feels more like Atheist mixed with Morbid Angel, so at least we get to see that Electroction can draw from all aspects of the Morbid Angel sound. This blend is actually really refreshing to hear, and I absolutely love how these influences were merged together.
‘Ghost of Past’ is the longest song here, clocking in at 5:40, and it’s an interesting tune. It transitions from slow to fast with ease, and the riffs are all pretty damn catchy to boot. Here, we can hear everything from a doomier riff, to your staple chugging death metal riff, to (dare I say) a staccato-ish breakdown riff. The breakdown riff isn’t offensive, and it actually works within the context of the song, especially as a transition into the next segment, so I dig it. After some slick solo-work, the song eventually reaches its end, but I rather liked it.
Overall, this album is Floridian at heart, taking most of its influence from Morbid Angel. However, the bass sound and technicality definitively have that Atheist flair, yet sound distinctly different from Atheist. In that sense, Electrocution have a sound that is, at least to some extent, their own. This is an album filled with very solid riffs and well composed songs that any casual fan of the Floridian sound is pretty much guaranteed to enjoy, and as someone who loves the Floridian sound, I can’t help but recommend this obscure gem to everyone, because it’s downright great.
At the same time, sometimes the influences are a bit too obvious, and that does detract from the overall quality of the album. Thus, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone new to Floridian death metal, as it’d be better for them to hear the classic material that this borrows from first. That would help them understand the context that Inside the Unreal falls into in the realm of death metal.
Written for http://thenumberoftheblog.com/
For a more concise (read: better) summation on how a regional location relative to a genre boon/bust can make or break a band, read Falconsbane's review of the similarly overlooked album, Vast, by Disaffected. The concept still needs to reiterated, however. Out of every region in the world with a consistent release of metal, the Mediterranean is among the most (if not *the* most) unrecognized in the world. The only area that comes close is Latin America, and they at least have their champions in The Chasm. Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, and the like have all produced wonderful death metal releases, and, with the exception of Greek black metal, all of them have gone by the wayside in favor of their paler brethren to the north. Why this is confounds me, as bands such as Electrocution, Disaffected, and Necrophiliac have more than established the Mediterranean's prowess with death releases, but I digress...
Inside the Unreal is the first, and, like most tragically overlooked bands, only release of the band Electrocution. The history of the band is not unique: Good band gets signed to po-dunk record label, then summarily dies an obscure death after squeezing out one release. Upon listening to the album, however, one will weep tears of blood at seeing such talent see only one release proper. Coming in at just over 37 minutes with 10 tracks, Inside the Unreal walks the line between appreciative length and creative brevity flawlessly. Even though every track comes in at around three-and-a-half minutes each, you'll swear the little more than half hour you'll spend listening to each one will melt by. Though their profile lists them as straight death, the sound here is best described as deaththrash of the ballsiest kind. This album is a GUT CRUNCHER from start to finish. With the thrash frenzy kick-starting Premature Burial to the testicle liquefying shred and drum roll-off ending Bells of the End and all the solos in-between, if you're in any way a deaththrash fan you'll walk away with a salivating mouth and boxer shorts leaking clear stuff. The 'death' is layered on thick and heavy, as every fan knows it should be, and never once strays in its intensity.
There really is not enough that can be said for this album; it's a raw diamond in the sand just BEGGING to be seen, but, alas, because the band it stems from was cursed from belonging to a nation with Latin language roots, such is the fate of Inside the Unreal, a fantastic album no matter who discovers it or not.