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Ektomorf – Reborn

Ektomorf
Reborn
by Max Elias at 28 March 2021, 3:38 PM

What are EKTOMORF? Are they Thrash Metal, Groove Metal, or Nu Metal? They’ve been classified as all of these at different points in their career—which goes back to 1993—and sometimes as multiple. The one thing they definitely are is heavy. EKTOMORF blends thunderous percussion and massive riffs with gruff, intense barking vocals in their quest to create searing, daring music. Sometimes the riffs are thrashier, as in “Ebulition” and “Reborn”, which begin the album with a shot of retro adrenaline.

Even with the aggression of the music and vocals, EKTOMORF manage to introduce hooks, both vocally and instrumentally. The choruses are always big and hummable regardless of the vitriol with which they are sung, and the band is not averse to softening things up now and again. The slow, emotional lead in the interlude of “Reborn” is a classic indicator of melodic consciousness. One thing EKTOMORF does very well is introduce melodic guitar lines and phrases to balance their chugging attack.

More of EKTOMORF’s Nu Metal influence shows up in songs like “And the Dead Will Walk”, which is built on very simple, plodding, downtuned rhythms. The vocals are also less forward-marching (though just as gravelly) and more legato and mournful. Unlike a lot of Nu Metal, there is a solo, but it is very short and mostly a series of bends aided by a flanger; it’s there to provide texture, not to blow anyone away with a show of virtuosity. “And the Dead Will Walk” is also less riff-heavy than songs like “Fear Me”.

My favorite song here without a doubt is “Where the Hate Concieves”, and I say that fully aware of how similar to “Battery” by METALLICA it is. The main riff is clearly derived from that song, and there is a classical acoustic intro in the EKTOMORF song as well. But the song flows so well and builds tension expertly during the breakdown leading into the solo; said solo also develops well, with melodic phrases tying together the faster moments. “Where the Hate Conceives” is EKTOMORF’s most obvious nod to their 80s Thrash Metal heroes (even though “The Worst is Yet to Come” starts with a bell ringing a la “For Whom the Bell Tolls”).

The longest song on the album is “Forsaken” at just over seven minutes; and for the first minute and a half, drums and bass propel the song forward. Around two minutes in, the sparse guitar accents intensify and coalesce into a soaring intro solo, which comes back after a brief drop so the acoustic guitars can come in. Not only is seven minutes a lot compared to the four minute or less length of the rest of the songs, but the fact that “Forsaken” is an instrumental makes it particularly ambitious; but it seems to work. The lead playing is sensible and lyrical, developing the melody and reintroducing it several times. Though the leads run almost the whole length of the song once they are introduced, this keen melodic sensibility means they don’t wear thin.

EKTOMORF closes out the album with the more straightforward “Smashing the Past”, which is full of chugging palm muted riffs and deft drum fills. After the wailing, serene ambiance of “Forsaken”, “Smashing the Past” ends the album on a triumphant note. This is a solid release and has a lot of good moments, though its strength is in song construction rather than the standout qualities of any one riff.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Musicianship: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ebulition
2. Reborn
3. And the Dead Will Walk
4. Fear Me
5. Where the Hate Conceives
6. The Worst is Yet to Come
7. Forsaken
8. Smashing the Past
Lineup:
Zoltán Farkas – Guitars, Vocals
Simon Szebatián – Guitars
Csaba Zahorán – Bass
Kálmán Oláh – Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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