Ektomorf – “Aggressor” (AFM Records)
Zoltan Farkas is an angry man. Over 2 decades on, and now onto their 11th studio album, these Hungarian groove metallers only seem to get more aggravated over time. Maybe its because Zoltan isn’t Hungarian per se, but actually a Gypsy that makes all the difference, as despite all the success of his band and being accepted in other countries where Ektomorf have become a mainstay on the touring circuit, little has changed at home for him and his people. Still persecuted, still deprived and still embittered, it’s all here in the 14 hard, angst ridden tracks that make up the aptly titled “Aggressor”. Not for the faint hearted, this is street music and the foul language cussing all over the tracks says it all back with a big F–k You back to the system! Despite all this, Farkas is a talented man, perhaps drawing from his rich culture that over the centuries that has more than demonstrated its gift in music – just check out the violin and acoustic guitar on ‘Momento’ – for he churns out some of the most amazing Gypsy harmonies and grooves along to some raging socially conscious lyrics directed at a so called free and civilized Europe. Put it together and you’ve some of the most hard kicking metal music around, guaranteed to start a fire (or a riot) anywhere with its monster heavy riffing backed by a stomping rhythm and of course, Farkas’s own hoarse, begrudged vocals. Well the man has been heard – not in the least by mighty George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher – who provides dual vocals on the face smashing ‘Evil By Nature’, a brutal track with heaps of double bass drumming and its heavy, chainsawing guitars. But for me, it’s the likes of the roaring ‘Move On’ with its exotic Gypsy dervish riffs that define both Ektomorf’s sound and demonstrate time and again the huge potential of this band. “Aggressor” actually shows this on the more commercial emo groover of ‘Emotionless World’ while also reaching out to the hardcore massive on the abrasive but rhyming ‘Eastside’. A definite step up, Farkas and Ektomorf are now stomping in the boots of Sepultura and Biohazard when these guys were at the their peak, proving you just can’t keep a good man down.