EKTOMORF Album Review: “Vivid Black”

“Vivid Black”
Album Review by Iron Mathew


Ektomorf are a thrash metal band from Hungary formed in 1994 by singer/guitarist Zoltan “Zoli” Farkas – the band enjoying a prolific thirty year career, releasing eighteen albums! The bands most recent release ‘Vivid Black, was released in 2023.

The sound of Ektomorf has been described as a blend of “thrash, hardcore, and traditional Roma music” – and while I wouldn’t dispute that, the band also display a lot of groove metal leanings. Take the sounds of bands such as Fear Factory, Pantera and Sepultura, and you’ll have some idea of the Hungarian outfit’s sonic arsenal – an arsenal that’s grown considerably over the years! The band are a major force worldwide, and have performed at some of the worlds biggest metal festivals – Wacken Open Air, 70,000 Tons Of Metal, and Rockharz to name just a few. And in the shape of the bands new album ‘Vivid Black’, Ektomorf are set to bludgeon every listener, fan and follower with a bold, brash, and brutal ten song barrage – ‘I’m Your Last Hope (The Rope Around Your Neck)’ creeping in before adopting a massive groove metal march! A groove metal march bigger than the likes of Pantera, Carbon Black, Tempest Rising and the entire 1995 album ‘Plastic Planet’ by Geezer – featuring an all star line-up of bassist Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), drummer Deen Castronovo (Journey, Revolution Saints), singer Burton C. Bell (ex Fear Factory) and guitarist Pedro Howse (nephew of Geezer Butler).

A simply jaw dropping opener, Ektomorf power on with the phenomenally fast paced ‘Die’ – increasing the level of brutality tenfold! The band are immensely savage here, roaring on with face melting aggression and angst – the head bang ability soaring much higher than Mount Kekes. The opening double salvo has been breath taking, the band firing on all cylinders to deliver a red hot thrash metal attack, ‘Vivid Black’ storming on with the anger fuelled ‘Never Be The Same Again’ – Ektomorf bludgeoning listeners without so much as a hint of remorse! Now I’ve heard some aggressively brutal albums during my forty plus years listening to metal, and I reckon this is one of the most aggressive ever – ‘I Don’t Belong To You’ maintaining the albums superb savage battering! There’s just something about these groove metal albums that gets you so pumped up, releasing a tonne of adrenaline for that exciting and fairly arousing rush! A rush that makes you feel indestructible, on top of the world, and fucking fantastic – as legendary actor, film maker, and former professional body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger famously once said “the sensation from a pump (or workout) is better than sex”. And while I agree the sensation from a pump is orgasmic, I would disagree that it’s actually better than sex!

And with the levels of intensity, attitude and angst remaining sky high, ‘Vivid Black’ roars on with ‘Fade Away’, mixing clean and raspy vocals across a backdrop of heart melting groove metal – the band an unrelenting, unforgiving roller coaster of thrills, excitement, and exhilaration! I just can’t seem to put into words the amount of groove metal on offer – it’s ginormous! And is only getting bigger and bigger the longer the album runs, ‘You And Me’ picking up pace and thundering on with more purpose and intent than any other song heard so far. I’m telling ya readers, all those bands I mentioned earlier pale into the background when Ektomorf are around, the Hungarian metallers delivering one of the years biggest surprises! And the surprises keep on coming – the title song ‘Vivid Black’ dropping every ounce of oomph and groove, opening as though we’re heading for a grungy, almost alternative form of metal. Until the thirty second mark that is when an almighty doom metal riff – or should that be a doom groove metal riff – ignites a thousand incendiary devices, ‘Vivid Black’ (the song) blazing the heaviest trail of any song heard up to this point. The band retain an air of grungy, alternative metal though, changing pace and tempo many times…

…’The Best Of Me’ featuring gear changes aplenty, as the band land firmly and squarely in thrash metal territory, the aggression and abrasiveness rising right through the fucking roof! The band have been snarling, howling and growling ever since ‘Vivid Black’ (the album) began – if you’re easily offended or upset, this ain’t the album for you! Best ya go and listen to the washed up, make up wearing American glam rockers from New York – they’ll cuddle and comfort you! Ektomorf will batter and break you, snapping bones and crushing skulls with extraordinary delight – welcome to heavy metal hell readers, the place for fucking fantastic metal! Which is exactly what you get with ‘Vivid Black’ (the album), marching on with pace and energy courtesy of ‘You Belong There’, the band hitting harder than a thousand wrecking balls in full flight! ‘You Belong There’ oozes immense force, a force that’s gonna knock you into next week and beyond – the Hungarian four piece a formidable force of nature! Bringing a breathless album to a close, ‘REM’ takes a wander through a myriad of metal styles, including grunge, alternative, progressive and dare I say it, rock! There, I did say it, and when I say rock, I’m talking the melancholic side of the rock genre, Ektomorf stretching their musical boundaries to breaking point.

Overall, a heavy hitting barrage of savage groove metal with an immense dose of thrash metal aggression.


I’m Your Last Hope (The Rope Around Your Neck)
Never Be the Same Again
I Don’t Belong to You
Fade Away
You and Me
Vivid Black
The Best of Me
You Belong There


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