Inside the Unreal (Reissue)
posted on 5/2012 By:
The Italians gave the world the Renaissance, the Mafia, the Vatican (which they can keep), the battery, the radio, the piano, eyeglasses, newspapers, the concept of the ambulance, and this, the first album by overlooked death metal first-wavers Electrocution.
Okay, so maybe… just maybe… it’s not quite on the same level as the rest of those developments, but nevertheless, Inside The Unreal is a seriously good album, and one that might’ve been lost to the sands of time were it not for the kind folks at the atrociously named Goregorecords. (That particular sub-label is an offshoot of Aural Music, and thus both respectable and connected to Code666 and Eibon, among others. Nevertheless, that’s kind of a regrettable name, even for someone who greatly enjoys a terrible pun.)
Originally released in 1993, right at the end of death metal’s first explosion, Inside The Unreal could just as easily have come from Florida as from Bologna. Though the band would morph further into an Atheist-leaning prog-death outfit (to diminished results, sadly), for this, their sole full-length, they were soundly rooted in the Floridian basics. Still, what's here is far from rudimentary, and Unreal sports a Schuldiner-indebted technicality that pointed clearly toward the direction in which Electrocution would progress.
Built heavily upon the genre’s thrash-based foundation, Unreal is a rollicking ride, propelled by Luca Canali’s drumming beneath some (wait for it…) electrifying tech-y riffing from guitarists Alex Guadagnoli and Mick Montaguti. The guitars are buzzsaws, ripping through vicious, speedy riffs and intricate tempo changes with ease, and the occasional solos are both chaotic and fluid. Bassist Max Canali snakes his instrument along beneath the guitars, disappearing beneath the furious riffage and re-emerging with some tasteful intrusions when you don't quite expect it – check out his fills in “Growing Into The Flesh” or “Behind The Truth,” where little bass blurbles emerge from the riffs to add color. Shades of Morbid Angel, mid-period Death and others float through -- the path is well-traveled, but the end result is nevertheless expertly enacted.
In listening to this newest incarnation of Inside The Unreal now, two decades later, there’s little doubt that Electrocution’s misfortune was geographic – had they been American or Swedish or British or even Dutch, it’s highly likely that a Roadrunner or an Earache would’ve picked up on them, but being removed from any significant scene, they were relegated to a small label and little fanfare. So the first time around, Inside The Unreal made virtually no splash, and that’s truly a shame, because it’s a killer slab of early technical-leaning death metal, and further evidence of that is this: It’s back again, because good metal should never die. This 20th Anniversary edition (released a year early, by my rudimentary math) adds no bonus material, but it does offer a re-mastered album and updated liners and pictures. The latter two are icing on the cake, because the music is the true sell, and it’s that that matters most – in the end, not only is Inside The Unreal actually available again, for the first time to many of us, but in this edition, it sounds crisp and clear and stout, modern and obviously retro and timeless in the between.
Death metal collectors and connoisseurs of the classics rejoice, for another diamond has been dug from the dust, and it’s a big and shiny one. Fans of first wave obscurities: Behold, a must-hear.
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