I haven’t been a fan of Hungarian Groove Metal band EKTOMORF’S for very long, only coming into the fold about two years ago with Retribution. I never got to review it due to time constraints, but that one got quite a bit of play throughout 2014 and still does to this day. Well the band recently dropped newest release Aggressor via AFM Records and it’s every bit as good as the last one if not better in one or two places. Vocalist/guitarist Zoltán Farkas sounds every bit as pissed off as usual and not just in his singing. The riffs thanks to him and fellow axeman Tomi Schrottner are like a dozen buzz saws aimed straight at your head early and often making for a very intense listen.
Tracks like “You’re Not For Me”, “You Can’t Get More”, and “Move On” are designed to make you drive faster, run harder, and/or push yourself farther than ever at the gym. Simple, pure, unadulterated aggression for lack of a better word. The rhythm section of Szabolcs Murvai (bass) and Róbert Jaksa (drums) join the fracas in earnest here, there, and pretty much everywhere. “Holocaust”, with its grinding, winding groove was an instant favorite along with the aforementioned “Move On”. I found myself really getting into these two, especially behind the wheel!
Opener “I” comes out swingin’, as does title track “Aggressor” which REALLY shows the venomous side of Farkas. It’s hard not to feel like smashing things when this one’s on. I can only imagine the circle pits to this one. Bodies will be flying, no question. The tone of “Evil By Nature” (featuring CANNIBAL CORPSE’S george “Corpsegrinder” Fisher as a guest vocalist) is especially dirty and muddy, from the guitars to the growls, Fisher and Farkas trading lines back and forth and the results make for another winner. The same can be said for “Eastside” whose acoustic intro gives way to a pair of Size Twelve boots kicking heads in.
The chunky-style riffs continue with “Damned Nation” but the title screamed over and over as a chorus gets a little repetitive, an issue that is also the problem with “Emotionless World”. Musically they’re both solid, though. I wish I could say the same for the band’s foray into rapping nu-metal “You Lost”. I’d skip it if I were you, unless you have a hankerin’ for some of that crap released circa 2000 (shudders). But that’s the exception not the rule on this disc. At the end of the day Aggressor lives up to its title and sounds exactly like the EKTOMORF we’ve all come to know and love: pissed off, ready to rumble, and bust you open. For most of the record that’s what we get, and I’m okay with that. Pick it up for yourself and see what you think. You’d be hard-pressed to find something angrier this week.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Evil By Nature”, “Holocaust”, “Move On”, “Eastside”, “You’re Not For Me”