Thursday 21 January 2021

Reviews: Ektomorf, Red Method, Ufferndaith (Reviews By Richard Oliver & Matt Bladen)

Ektomorf: Reborn (Napalm Records) [Richard Oliver]

Reborn is the new album from long running Hungarian metallers Ektomorf. It is the first album for new label Napalm Records but the fifteenth album for the band overall. Ektomorf formed back in 1993 and were very much part of the groove metal, alternative metal and nu metal movement during the 90’s and 00’s. There have been many noted similarities to Sepultura and Soulfly during their career not only in musical sound and style but frontman Zoltan has a vocal style that is a dead ringer for Max Cavalera.

On previous album Fury, Ektomorf seemed to be shifting towards a more aggressive, thrash-influenced sound and that move is further cemented on Reborn. Although touted as a thrash metal album, Reborn still very much sits in the groove metal camp to my ears with the heavily downtuned guitars and groove metal riffing style prevalent throughout. There is definite influence from thrash and the more aggressive end of thrash with songs such as Ebullition and Where The Hate Conceives bristling with fury and relentless with fury. There is also a distinct increased use of melody especially in the guitar solos with some really tasty melodic leads in the title track and Fear Me. These melodic tendencies very much have a classic Metallica influence to them and instrumental Forsaken seems to be very heavily influenced by Metallica’s classic instrumental Orion.

Ektomorf have had the Sepultura/Soulfly comparisons for the majority of their career and Reborn isn’t going to do much to shift that with the record sounding very similar to the more recent Soulfly output. The album is very much lacking in originality and some songs do fall a bit flat especially with the very generic sounding groove metal riffs but you can tell that the passion is very much there and when this album hits its stride it will definitely get heads banging. This is a decent album of thrash influenced groove metal but won’t be setting any worlds ablaze. 6/10

Red Method: For The Sick - ReWorks (Self Released) [Matt Bladen]

Originally released in February 2020 Paul Hutchings gave For The Sick a 6/10 back then comparing it favourably to Iowa noise nicks Slipknot praising the nu-metal and industrial grooves. So nearly a year later the band have re-released their debut album in a 'Re-Worked' form with an additional song added for good measure. They have used the covid situation to dabble with the electronic elements on their debut and take to a much more industrial sound, the Slipknot sound of the vocals giving way to bands such as Rammstein, Jayce Lewis and even Gary Numan the heavy atmosphere coming on Slaves To the New World Order the new track on this record which has replaced the Nirvana cover that ended the original version. 

This is really heavily influenced by industrial Messiah throbbing with a Corey Taylor sings over Laibach vibe, as on the beginning of The Narcissist's Prayer things get very weird and dissonant. It's obvious that Alex 'The AVD' Avdis has had a much bigger slice of the musical pie on this one than he did before, adding what he did with previous band The Defiled. For The Sick - Reworks really moves this record from the metal sound into industrial soundscape. The track brings in ex-Sikth man Justin Hill on production of the intensely political song, while his co-vocalist Mikee Goodman remains on The Absent. It's a unique idea that doesn't add or detract anything from the original version rather it just filters it though a different musical lens. Interesting but not essential. 6/10

Ufferndaith: Cyn Ddued â Ffwc (Self Released) [Matt Bladen]

Despite having lived in Wales all of my life, I have a very low understanding of Welsh. Living in Cardiff we learn it unto Senior School and then nothing. So I've never been that involved in the Welsh language music scene, and I sure as hell didn't know that there was an extreme scene. But apparently there is and Ufferndaith (Humour) are about as extreme as it gets, their debut EP Cyn Ddued â Ffwc (As Old As Fuck) is a disconcerting style of industrial black metal that melds raw black metal nastiness with claustrophobic industrial soundscapes, the duo of the title track and Yr Aber (Ddiwedd Haf) full of disturbing noises. Now I'll admit that industrial music and raw black metal is not really my bag, and when I say raw I mean it sounds like you are listening to it down a corridor from behind the speakers. Certainly living up to the metallic industrial heritage of their hometown Merthyr Tydfil. So because of this unfortunately the EP was not really my thing. Only final track Tywyllwch Yr Oes peaked my interest, as much of it left me cold. However if glacial industrial soundscapes and dissonant black metal sounds like a fun night out to you, and of course if you speak Welsh (though when the vocals are basically screamed at you, does it matter what language they are in?) then I suggest Ufferndaith. 5/10

1 comment:

  1. I'd say that's a pretty good description of our sound, even if it's not your cup of tea :)
    There actually isn't really a Welsh language extreme metal scene. There's us, then a band called Pladur Gysgod released their debut within 5 days of us.
    Reckon you might like them, they've got some fantastic songs, it's a full length album and they're a bit more melodic and less raw and abrasive than we are.
    Sounds like you've been using Google translate :D Not sure how it came up with 'humour' as a translation of our name, I think it tries to guess at the meaning of non-existent words. Our name is a made up, compound word 'Uffern' (hell) 'Daith' (trip), and the title of the EP t means 'as black as fuck'.
    Cheers mate, keep up the good work!
    Rich Ufferndaith