Formed in 1994, Ektomorf are a Groove Metal outfit, led by Zoltan ‘Zoli’ Farkas who is the only remaining original member of the band. For years the band relentlessly toured but it wasn’t until they began collaborating with accomplished Danish producer Tue Madsen in 2003 that things started to happen for the Hungarian moshers.
There is no doubt that Ektomorf are the biggest Metal export to ever have come out of Hungary and through hard work and determination, along with great ability they have since gained much deserved respect internationally. ‘Retribution’ is their latest release which is certain to break down more walls, and is undoubtedly their best album to date. Once again Zoli and his crew team up with producer Madsen unleashing an ocean sized sound.
‘You cant control me’ is the first track which comes at you direct, setting out the stall for what’s ahead; hard grooves with sublime tempo changes. Zoli screams full force pouring out all of his passion and let’s be honest here, isn’t that what Metal’s about – passion? ‘Ten Plagues’ is simply groove genius, they say you cant put a fruit pastille in your mouth without chewing it, well, I cant listen to this song without moving, it’s impossible… get involved!
‘Face Your Fear’ comes next which is brutal. I’m already beginning to fear that choosing a highlight on this album isn’t going to be easy, this song is banging! Ok, let’s take things down a bit with ‘Escape’. Seclusion and bitterness are obviously something the singer has experienced in his life the demons are released and I’ve never heard hate sound so damn good! ‘Who The F**k Are You’, now let me explain before you get all sensitive, that isn’t me calling you out, but Im pretty sure Zoli is. Shall I skip over the bullshit…..agreed…..this song will kick your face in and guess what? Your going to love it!
Featuring Christian Machado (Ill Nino) on guest vocals, ‘Numb and Sick’ brings you pounding power in the verses with a harmonious chorus sang by Machado. This combo works well and even with the harmony there is no loss of momentum and power. ‘Lost & Destroyed’ begins and you instantly know that if there is a commercially friendly single to be found here, then this is it. With it’s melodic verses this track shows us Zoli’s softer side, displaying the singer’s vocal capabilities to the max. Well crafted and beautifully arranged, the atmosphere changes and the tempo drops on ‘Souls of Fire’, chills run down your spine in this haunted space. Anticipation creeps in as a riff conjured up from hell itself rips into the sound waves. The pulsating rhythm carries you into the blistering riot of a chorus. The flames will lick and burn you as your dragged along before being tossed into the heart of the smouldering heat!
‘I Hate You’ quickly follows, stomping you with it’s attitude that is pure hardcore punk. This, my Metal friends, will be a ‘stonker’ to hear and see live, but please do be careful to not get stampeded and broken in the pit! It’s all about passion and what you believe in, right? ‘Watch Me’ certainly demonstrates Ektomorf’s beliefs and passion. This is groove metal in its purest form with tempo changes that will move you involuntary. So, if your listening to this his song and you remain static, better check your pulse because you might be dead.
‘Mass Ignorance’ gives us an insight into the singer’s psyche and personal experiences. Maybe because of his Gypsy background Zoli at some points in his life has felt prejudice and discrimination by certain members of society up close and personal. The message here is loud and clear “Be yourself”. With a Sabbath (early days) esq intro ‘Save Me’ shows the singer laid bare, opening his soul to expose his vulnerability. The dark despair he cries out is well and truly felt upon delivery. ‘Whisper’ kicks in and it instantly reminds me of ‘Burn My Eyes’ era-Machine Head with its raw and blistering pace.
This power house of an album ends on a much more sombre and sobering note. The acoustic ‘Collapsed Bridge’ is a heartfelt song about grief and loss. Although the lyrics are dare I say somewhat cliché, which includes “angels cry” & “broken wings” it still shows that even when unplugged Ektomorf knows how to deliver a good song with real emotion. 14 tracks, beautifully arranged that will move and seduce you, this is a genre that I love and I can happily tell you that Ektomorf’s ‘Retribution’ is definitely now part of my personal collection.
Love Groove, Love Ektomorf!