If you haven’t heard of Ektomorf before, the best way for me to describe them is to take you back to 2013. There I was, browsing for Metal T-shirts online when I came across Heavy Metal Online’s lucky dip offer which promised five random t-shirts for only £10. When the parcel arrived I eagerly opened it and inside was not one, but two Ektomorf T-Shirts. The rest of the shirts confirmed that the lucky dip offer was mainly aimed at shifting old stock that had failed to sell. Ektomorf’s double inclusion didn’t inspire much hope, but I dutifully entered their name into YouTube.
My search, surprisingly, turned out to be worthwhile. I enjoyed what I heard and made a mental note to consider getting their records before promptly forgetting about them until their newest album ‘Fury’ popped into my review pile five years later.
Ektomorf made a name for themselves by playing a modern style of groove-centric thrash popularised by bands such as Sepultura. Their style hasn’t changed much over the years and ‘Fury’ isn’t a deviation from the norm. The same is true of the production. Someone should really tell Zoltan Farkas, the band’s mastermind, that it’s not a crime to have audible bass.
Despite the lack of low end, Ektomorf manages to sound as heavy as ever with their hardcore inspired start-stop riffs and rapid-fire drumming. The songs are simple, but they manage to convey a sense of energy and power that can easily be obscured when bands start to layer on complexity. If you’re in need of a new album to keep you going through the gym ‘Fury’s’ got your back – so long as your sessions don’t run over its rather short thirty-five-minute runtime.
There’s a couple of highlights including the aptly named titular track “Fury” which keeps the momentum high all the way through and the pulsating, drum-led groove of “Bullet In Your Head”. “Blood for Blood” strays a little too far into nu-metal territory with its repetitive central riff and angsty snarled vocal delivery, which puts a little bit of a damper on the end of the album, but generally, the album is consistent throughout.
The only truly bad things about ‘Fury’ are the solos. They’re reminiscent of early Slayer solos before they had a good grasp of music theory, except they don’t have the same accidental brilliance and sense of belonging. Instead, they’re rather jarring and distracting. Thankfully, the solos are few and far between.
The problem is that ‘Fury’ is a solid album, but it’s not a great one. The band fails to do anything special to elevate their sound above their countless peers. Still, not every record has to reinvent the wheel and there’s certainly a place for straightforward, catchy heaviness in the metal world. While I did enjoy my time listening to it if I wasn’t reviewing it, it ’s unlikely I would have played it more than once or twice. Still, if you’re already a fan of Ektomorf I have no doubt you’ll enjoy ‘Fury’ and you can continue to wear your shirts with pride. Mine, however, are likely to remain buried somewhere in my wardrobe until I’m reminded of their existence with Ektomorf’s next album.