Having been less then impressed with Ektomorf's 2010 album, "Redemption", I never bothered to hear what this Hungary-based four-piece was up to on their last full length, "Black Flag". That release was issued in 2012 so it's been about two years since fans last heard from this lot and about four years since I last did. Formed back in 1993, with vocalist/guitarist/chief-songwriter and founding member Zoltán Farkas being the lone consistent member since day one, the band is now rounded out by Tomi Schrottner(guitar), Zsabolcs Murvai (bass) and Robert Jaksa (drums). Up-front I will say this for "Retribution". Unlike the last release I heard from these groove thrashers, "Retribution" (for the most part*) sticks primary to Pantera/Soulfly worship while WISELY avoiding anything that turned me off about their 2010 album**! Thank the maker above for that! Elsewhere faint echos of Machine Head and The Disturbed can be heard, but for the most part Zoltán's Ektomorf still reminds me (chiefly) of Pantera. Is that a bad thing? No. I mean, not really. While I was never the world's biggest Pantera fan (I preferred Exhorder!) their influence pops up all the time in modern day metal acts and when I band like Ektomorf takes said influence and makes it more of their own thing then it's fine. It mostly just depends on whether or not you prefer groove over more traditional elements like thrashing guitar solos. I mostly prefer the latter, but I'm man enough/honest enough to admit that I like to "Get into the groove..." from time to time so Ektomorf's latest, while not likely to get constant air-play in my household, does have it's moments when it really kicks hard so that might just come in handy the next time I want to break shit up!
*As much as I appreciate Zoltán's ability to scream and sing clean when the band slows things down to a mellow groove there is still chilling vibes of post-Staind/(later-day) Linkin Park-style radio rock etched in between the lines.
** Warning! The following review of "Redemption" includes references to Staind and Limp Bizkit! Proceed with EXTREME caution!