Ektomorf: Redenption

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Ektomorf: Redenption
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Ektomorf: Redemption
Groove Metal
AFM Records
February 22nd, 2011
Release length: 41:21
Myspace
Website
Ektomorf has existed for quite some time, though many people probably wouldn’t have known. Granted around the time of their sixth full-length effort, Instinct, the band was starting to gain some ground in the States, though the group had been founded way back in 1993 in Hungary. Redemption marks the band’s ninth full-length effort, as well as a return to the radars for many Metal fans, as the band was putting out albums, but seemed to be almost hidden in some areas for some reason. Given the fan reception and criticisms of the band’s previous efforts sounding so remarkably close to Sepultura and Soulfly, perhaps the biggest question is not whether it kicks ass or not, but whether this release will show a departure from the group’s idolworship ways. But, sadly, those of us who heard the group’s previous offerings, we all know that this won’t be the case.

Right off the bat with “Last Fight”, it becomes pretty obvious that the group still hasn’t dropped the huge Groove Metal influences from Sepultura and Soulfly, though the song does feel like the band was trying to make that sound a little more unique for them, being a slight departure from the traditional idol worshipping sound that the band has put out before. Sadly, there is still no denying that the song carries that carbon copy touch well, though the vocals are a higher screaming pitch, and the music has a little less Groove to it for this song, as if the band is trying to tread into other musical territory, but too afraid to get to the border of it. “Redemption”, the title track, is where that unique attempt dies, as the group just goes right into what they do best: Mid-tempo Groove Metal a la Sepultura sans the tribal elements. It’s not a bad song, and hammers away with a consistent and somewhat catchy tone, but the music is so simple that it comes off very boring and repetitive after a while. Without that tribal influence put in to add a little more to the song to kill the repetitive nature of the composition, it just winds up feeling like the same few chords over and over again, much like a less interesting and energetic Meshuggah song.

Sadly, that basically explains pretty much the entire album. There isn’t much depth or complexity to the music, and many times the songs come off rather generic. Luckily it works well for some of the shorter songs on here, and doesn’t really leave the listener feeling like he or she is listening to the same simple sound over and over for, say, five, seven minutes straight. However, one that that Ektomorf does do well on some of these tracks is focus a lot of energy into them, and that’s really what saves this release in many ways. While “Last Fight” feels bland, and “Redemption” feels the same but overly repetitive, “God Will Cut You Down” is where the energetic performance of the recording actually starts. The music feels a lot heavier and bludgeoning in the first place, which goes well with the simple Groove mechanics incorporated, as well as simple lyrical structure too, and the track shows a little more range from the Romanian version of Max Cavalera, but nothing too fancy or off the wall.

There really isn’t much else to say about the recording outside of the fact that the group includes Danko Jones on the track “The One”. The song isn’t all that impressive, though it does deter a bit with some lighter music and clean singing, straying slightly from the energetic or bland paths of Groove Metal that many of the songs tread on here. it’s interesting, but sadly it is still nothing all that great or memorable. Other then that, there are some times the band seems to branch out, like on the first track “Last Fight”, which sounds more like a plea to take on a Pantera sound on top of everything else. “Never Should” also finds the band trying to step out of the generic Groove Metal mold and seems to be a little more Hardcore oriented as well, and it shows, but really not enough to make the song stand out that much more. In a sense, this same thing can be said for “God Will Cut You Down” as well, though it feels a little more like a mixture of that and Crossover Thrash then just a more Hardcore influence. There’s also an acoustic section on “Sea of Misery”, which is an interesting input to the release, as well as the band’s sound, and definitely offers up a little variation, but it just winds up feeling a bit forced and doesn’t quite work with what the band is trying to do.

In the long run, Redemption sounds like a very fitting title, as it shows the band trying to break the chains of the Sepultura carbon copy sound they’ve played for a good while now, and try to be both more unique, as well as just try to step away from their sound, though trying to adorn other band’s sounds at the same time in some instances. The songs here are simple, and can often become repetitive if not met with the proper amount of energy to drive the point home. In the long run, it makes for a nice change of pace with Ektomorf, but redemption is still a long ways away for the band, as Redemption doesn’t quite have enough material that will hold the listener’s attention, but shows promise, and does have a few catchy, heavy, punch-you-in-the-face songs that will have you coming back for repeat spins after a while.

01. Last Fight – 4:17
02. Redemption – 2:51
03. I’m in Hate – 3:25
04. God Will Cut You Down – 3:04
05. Stay Away – 2:26
06. Never Should – 4:21
07. Sea of My Misery – 2:13
08. The One – 3:40
09. Revolution – 3:49
10. Cigany – 3:09
11. Stigmatized – 4:38
12. Anger – 3:28
Initial Pressing Score: /10
Digital review copy of this release provided by AFM Records via Earsplit PR.