REVIEW: EKTOMORF – “Aggressor”
Hungarian Groove Metal band Ektomorf are out with their 11th studio album titled ‘Aggressor’ and if you have heard the band before or read about founding member Zoltan Farkas’ stories of racism and prejudice, you will know exactly what to expect; aggressive, super heavy slab of Groove Metal pierced by angst ridden lyrics screaming about identity, misery and oppression amongst others. ‘Aggressor’ was released on 30th Oct via AFM records and continuing with the band’s legacy, they bring the house down with massive groove laden anthems on their latest offering.
The artwork screams of aggression and does a great job of symbolizing the sound as well as the theme of the album. ‘Aggressor’ starts off with an eerie intro track exploding into “I”, and trust me, its groove laden hooks coupled with Farkas’ belligerent growls will make you jump up and down and circle around, creating your own li’l mosh pit. The riffs are meaty bite sized bags of distorted goodness which makes this album great during intense workouts or those moments where you badly need a pep talk. Guitarist Tamás Schrottner and Fakras along with Bassist Szabolcs Murvai consistently provide a heavy groovy base over which Robert Jaksa’s crisp gun-shot like hits on the kit enables the band to deliver a powerhouse performance. The comparisons to Soulfly and Sepultura especially on tracks like “I” or the title track “Aggressor” will be made but the band’s energy overpowers the weightage given to such comparisons. Lyrically, the album explores oppression, holocaust, evil capitalism and greedy world leaders along with other matters that grinds our nerves (regardless of which corner of the world we are living in).
Ektomorf also throw in a couple of surprises in their compositions in the form of subtle acoustic sections and folk melodies. “Move On”, for example, completely threw me off with its Bhangra beats intro. The way the folksy beats explode to the main hook is sure to make you raise those horns up and feel all pumped. I can easily see it as a crowd favourite when the band performs live. Conversely, “Memento”, the last track on this album, is an instrumental featuring a melancholic acoustic composition that will melt you. Hearing it will definitely take you back to a moment of nostalgia or a depressing event in the past. However, for the majority portion of the album, Ektomorf do what they do best; melt our guts with unending groove. On ‘Aggressor’, they elevate the level of heaviness further by collaborating with George “Corpsegrinder” Fischer on “Evil By Nature”. It is a frenetic high octane groove monster which won’t let you sit down during its course. It is definitely one of the high points of the album. Probably it’s just me but I felt that the band goes heavier and a slightly more down-tuned avatar for this particular track. Corpsegrinder fits in perfectly with Farkas, to deliver a power packed brutal assault on the eardrums.
Going by their discography, it is evident that they don’t care to experiment much from their primary sound and ‘Aggressor’ also does not deviate much from Ektomorf’s previous albums. However, that doesn’t necessarily make them unimaginative or boring. It’s the unending energy of the band that has kept them going and here as well, it overpowers everything else. Although tracks like “You Lost” and “You’re Not For Me” can be termed as being average but these are just minor speed bumps in an otherwise kickass metal album.
The album clocks at a precise 46 minutes with 14 tracks in total. The production is solid and you will enjoy blasting the meaty distortion through your choice of speakers. You will get pumped up. You will get pissed off. You will stomp everything around in anger, for Ektomorf have delivered dynamite for the eardrums in the form Aggressor. It’s surely one of the band’s heaviest incarnations ever and they pack a mean sucker punch that must be enjoyed on full blast.