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Ektomorf - Retribution (Album Review)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Hungarian groove-metallers Ektomorf have worn their influences proudly on their sleeves for years now. But on their ninth album, 'Retribution', they may have taken it a step too far.

Of course, it's fine to follow in the footsteps of your heroes, right? Imagine if nobody had nicked Ministry's blueprint of crushing guitars mixed with electronics. We'd have no Rammstein, no Nine Inch Nails, no Rob Zombie. The world would be a fucking horrible place.

Then again, there's a difference between influence and allowing your own sound to be overrun. For the most part, Ektomorf abide by the rules. But, there's some obvious ‘Roots’-era Sepultura worship going on here. The bouncy riffs, primitive rumble of the drums and Zoltán Farkas' hoarse bark all point in that direction.

Ten Plagues is perhaps the worst culprit. Hell, it's even got that discordant guitar bit at the start to complete the Roots Bloody Roots comparison. And the slow bit. And a similar vocal pattern.

Despite all that, 'Retribution' has its moments. The clean vocals on Numb And Sick, which features Cristian Machado of Ill Niño​, offer a nice little breather, while the use of dynamics on Save Me conjures images of Kreator's Amok Run. Haunting vocals are implemented alongside serene guitars before the snap of electric riffing and introduction of a rhythm section heavier than a rhino's arse.

The band are also no strangers to technical ability and the guitar solo during the gloriously titled Who The Fuck Are You? showcases plenty of six string wizardry. They have the chops to write this sort of stuff, but using it this sparingly makes these moments even more special.

'Retribution' isn't a bad record, but there's just not enough original thought, or execution of ideas, to save it from mediocrity. This time round, Ektomorf have just lost track of things.



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