Ektomorf - Retribution - (8/10)
Published on January 28, 2014
One has to admit that Ektomorf’s stick to your guns attitude is something of a career statement. Essentially, the band has rarely changed form from their debut and continues to pound out ‘groove metal’ like it was still as popular as it was when they first started garnering world wide attention. Yeah, they might throw out an acoustic record and toy with various elements from record to record, but the heart of Ektomorf remains the same. For their ninth album, Retribution, Ektomorf set out to continue this reign with perhaps their best record since the career highlight Destroy.
Stylistically speaking, Retribution is nothing new for Ektomorf. The hardcore foundations of riff heavy writing and the guttural barking of Zoltan remain the heart and soul of what this album has to offer. Songs like “You Can’t Control Me,” “I Hate You,” and “Mass Ignorance” continue to pummel through with enough swaggering groove and metal injected moments (including a fairly strong solo on “Who The Fuck Are You”) to make a circle pit inspired romp of down-tuned glory. The nu metal elements still remain, although minimized to just a few songs), but Ektomorf make the best of them with the first pumping “Face Your Fear” or the angsty “Numb and Sick” that features a strong guest performance from Ill Niño frontman Cristian Machado for the clean choruses.
While the continued comparisons to Soulfly’s early career remain in the hardcore/nu metal blend, Ektomorf have staked a claim to that sound as their own by now and fans of the band are certain to not only pick up the album, but enjoy the hell out of it too. As a fan since the previously mentioned Destroy, my continued loyalty to the band doesn’t necessarily mean that the they write great albums. Even with Retribution you find there are a handful of filler tracks in-between album highlights. Yet, there are far fewer to be found and the band’s pseudo-power ballads in “Lost and Destroyed” seem better placed and more fitting overall. While Retribution might not be all that different from the last five records, it’s a tighter and stronger album in writing overall.
Ektomorf are not changing their sound so if you are one that’s skeptical of the groove metal genre, then Retribution will not be changing your mind. For fans or those looking to jump into the fun riff focused style that they bring to the table, then this album is just the collection you were looking for. It’s the best that Ektomorf has had to offer in a long, long time.