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A step up in atmosphere and cohesion - 78%

Noktorn, April 11th, 2007

Well, this is certainly a departure. Meathole Infection's debut demo was a four track blast of oldschool Impetigo and Death worship, high on enthusiasm and low on pretense. Now with the 'Earth Invasion' EP, we see a much more professional, unique band who seems to be well on their way to cultivating their own style.

Yes, the nods to Impetigo are still there, but there's less good spirit here. The five tracks here are much moodier and more downtempo than on the demo, and seem to have disengaged somewhat from the pure worship found before. The music here is a great deal slower and more sinuous, and actually much more atmospheric and grimmer than before. While all the kinks haven't quite been worked out yet, there's a definite aura of darkness and hopelessness on this CDr that represents a big step forward for this band.

Take center track 'Obsolete Species'. The song starts out with a slow, winding groove that perfectly matches the release's theme of alien assault, and then moves through a section of bridges before returning cyclically to the original sound. 'Demolecularized In Space' has a nearly power violence feel to it, with ultra-slow sludge passages contrasting neatly with more uptempo sections. The track most similar to the previous demo is most certainly 'Factory 419-667', which retains much of the speed and bouncy rhythm of that release.

The overly synthetic guitar tone of the demo has been partially alleviated on this release; while it's still noticeable during lead sections, for the most part it is a great deal more analog-sounding than before. This is most likely aided by the new presence of a bass guitar, which adds a great deal of depth to the music, both sonically and structurally. Vocals, still the hoarse, shouty grunts from before, could use a boost in clarity; they're still somewhat obscured by a sheen of static. However, for the most part, this release has much better production than before, which is a great addition to already improved music.

It almost sounds like Meathole Infection is leaning towards a doomier Autopsy-style breed of death metal than the death/thrash/grind before; and judging by the material on this release, it wouldn't be a bad decision. The band is trending upward; hopefully they'll maintain this direction.