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Ektomorf - Outcast

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD
Released: 2006
Reviewed By: The Goat


This is an atrocity, or pure genius. It is hard to tell. OK, maybe not that hard. I had heard of this band prior to receiving this promo. It definitely matches what I had heard. Ektomorf hail from Hungary. You really would not know this up listening to "Outcast." Upon first listen, the reaction would be… "Is this the new Soulfly?"

 

You would be dead wrong. According to their website, Ektomorf adopted this sound with their 2004 release, "Destroy". In 2005, they released "Instinct". According to their press release, "Outcast" is "much more powerful and belligerent" than "Instinct". The press release also claims that "Outcast" is an "uncompromising, straightforward, in-your-face soundtrack to a revolution, bursting with groove, anger and ingeniously composed hate and power". I would have to agree with this, except for the "ingeniously". There is nothing ingenious about this release.

OK, OK, perhaps by being the ONLY dead on, point by point Soulfly clone out there, one could describe Ektomorf as ingenious. This is the ingeniousness of, perhaps, an idiot savant. Yes, the idiot savant's work may be incredible but it is the vehicle by which the medium is evoked that determines the label "idiot". The inherent oxymoron of the phrase captures the paradox and the wonder.

To be somewhat fair, perhaps Zoltan Farkas (vocals & guitar) and company have reason to be angry and identify with Soulfly's revolutionary attitude. Their Myspace page has a video about social injustices aimed at Gypsies. I can see how there may be parallel between Max Cavalera's experience of Brazilian poverty and oppression and Ektomorf's Hungarian Gypsy problems. These are parallels, not a cloned replica.

Everything about Ektomorf's presentation indicates uncertainty about identity. The press release tries to explain what Ektomorf, the term, means. The proper spelling for the term is “ectomorph”. The press release tries to make the term sound more edgier than what it really means. An ectomorph is description of one of three body types: endomorph (heavy set), mesomorph (medium build), and ectomorph (thin). The mind behind these description thought that each correlated with a personality style, like a body version of phrenology. Ectomorphs were considered to have artistic and sensitive temperaments, not edgy and aggressive as the press release would have you think.

In regards to the album art, the band's name is in a faux Southeast Asian type script. Initially, without any knowledge of the band, I had thought they were from Nepal or Bali because of the way their name was illustrated. The album cover of "Outcast" looks like something Aztec. I can't help but feel that, while they make a good cause about the oppressed Gypsies, Ektomorf betrays their Hungarian heritage by mimicking a Brazilian musical response to social injustice and inequality.

 
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