A couple of years ago I stumbled across a reissue of a lost gem from the classic early 90’s death metal scene. The album in question was Inside the Unreal, the debut full-length and until now sole album from Italy’s Electrocution. Apparently it was well received back in the day but perhaps due to their geographical predicament the album was seemingly relegated to cult status as other parts of Europe and of course the famed Floridian death metal scene stole the limelight. I was impressed enough with the reissue to highlight the album on the Fillings & Cavities feature from early last year and although it wasn’t the most original slab of death metal around, the dry primitive brutality of the material certainly had an old school charm that drew influence from the likes of Death, Monstrosity, Morbid Angel and Malevolent Creation. Before and after the release of their debut, Electrocution pumped out a few demos and EP’s before eventually disbanding in 1997.

Well, to my pleasant surprise the reformed Electrocution are back with a new album, Metaphysincarnation, which gives a nice modern spit shine to their classic brand of thrashy, old school death metal. This is likely to be the most under-the-radar comeback album of the year, but Metaphysincarnation punches well above the band’s low profile, taking the core elements of their debut, squashing some of the more derivative aspects of their sound, and tightening the screws on their songwriting and execution. Speed is in abundance throughout the album, with the thrashy quotient jammed into overdrive, lending the album a frantic pulse. With this comeback album in particular, the influence of Polish death metal legends Vader crops up as well, particularly in the straightforward yet dynamic barrage of their thrashy death assault and the slivers of melody that seeps through every now and again.

The album is enamoured with a beefy guitar tone and killer production job that refreshingly doesn’t try to relive the glory of their debut by replicating the muddy sound so common during the genre’s golden era. Produced by guitarist Alex Guadagnoli, Metaphysincarnation has a clean, balanced sound that gives ample definition and heft to the instruments. The guitars are up front alongside the hoarse roars of Mick Montaguti, while the hard hitting drumming style of Vellacifer is aggressively intense and perfectly nuanced when needed, particularly during the slower or melodic passages. Meanwhile, Montaguti’s hellish growls echo some of the genre’s greats without ever sounding like a copycat clone.

The band’s grasp of dynamics greatly benefits and enlivens the meat & potatoes approach to their death metal formula and while familiarity creeps into the album from time to time, Electrocution keeps things relatively fresh,avoiding staying in the same place for too long. Electrocution’s knack of crafting dynamic, catchy death metal songs without sacrificing their lust for speed and bone jarring heaviness is handled with great skill throughout the album, offsetting their dominant thrash-laced attack with thick mid-tempo grooves, well managed tempo shifts, and surprisingly tasteful solos which add a touch of class and melody to their arsenal.

Leadoff track “Wireworm’ starts off misleadingly as sinister chants are circled by dramatic percussion and eerie atmospherics. Within thirty seconds the band unleash a vicious onslaught of thrashing riffs and aggression that sounds like a logical and mature modern take on their original formula. The atmospheric chants reappear later in the song however it’s very much the frenetic rhythms and pile-driving riffs that gives the song its sharp edges. Elsewhere, highlights are plentiful with tracks like the wonderfully paced, groove-laden speedfest of “Bloodless”; the vicious push/pull of “As a Son to His father”; groovy mid-paced rumble and killer soloing of “Logos”; and the savage exclamation point of closer “Anthropocentric” showcasing the album’s many strengths.

Whatever the band members have been up to in the years following Electrocution’s initial break-up, they have returned with no sign of rust slowing this well-oiled machine down. These dudes play like old pros, showcasing their precision chops and executing with youthful exuberance and tons of intensity. The band do a tremendous job of weaving their gnarled old school roots around an updated modern death metal base with pleasing results. Despite arriving with little fanfare Metaphysincarnation is an excellent comeback album from a cult death metal with plenty of fuel left in their durable tank.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
June 6th, 2014


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