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Interesting - 70%

Vim_Fuego, August 6th, 2004

Side projects are a bit of a mystery sometimes. It is understandable musicians may want a break from their main gig, and have the chance to create something different. Mike Patton and Jello Biafra for example have turned their hands to a number of projects over a wide range of musical styles. What is harder to understand though, from the perspective of someone not actually in the band, is why a band member would want to do something not far removed from their usual band's sound. Mitch Harris' impressive side project is within spitting distance of grind legends Napalm Death.

Meathook Seed's sound on 'Embedded' could best be described as a cross between Napalm Death and Godflesh (anyone with Attention Deficit Disorder can stop reading now because this is the most important point of the review). Think of half paced Napalm Death with a few heavy–duty industrial rhythms thrown in, or a faster Godflesh with more vocal variety and a real drummer thrown in from time to time.

The sound is fucking huge, and it's not surprising. Harris' partners in noise were Donald Tardy and Trevor Peres from Obituary. The noise produced is tremendous, equal parts mountainous Death Metal and sludgy Grind. Overlaying the carefully calculated racket are tormented vocals, sometimes a shade Barney Greenway, other times Justin Broadrick.

The songs really do little to distinguish themselves from one another. That's not to say they all sound the same, but are of an equal standard, with none of the tracks noticeably better or more memorable than the others.

Closer "Sea Of Tranquillity" is the only real departure from the formula of rest of the album. It is a dark ambient/trance piece, incorporating celestial choirs, Gregorian chants, sampled drums, drones and other electronic wizardry.

'Embedded' is by no means essential or original. It is a powerful release, and most fans of Napalm Death and Godflesh would not think it out of place in their collections. However, they might not revisit it too often.