Ever since I met my wife, who is of Finnish descent, ten years ago, I have delighted in sharing with her new metal bands from Finland. Of course, finding metal bands from Finland is like finding a Starbucks coffee shop in the United States: they are everywhere. In fact, I read somewhere that Finland has the most per-capita metal bands of any country worldwide, which I totally believe. Those Scandinavian winters, and tales of Vikings and Norse gods, must be very conducive to metal music.
But, what about me, someone who is of Hungarian and Italian descent? Now, I am aware of a few Italian metal bands, one of the most popular being Lacuna Coil, of course. I was never aware of any popular metal bands from Hungary, however, until a few days ago, when I randomly stumbled onto some Ektomorf videos on YouTube.
And, wow, what a fucking awesome band! Imagine some stripped-down “nu-metal” such as “Roots” era Sepultura, and Soulfly, but with their own Roma (Gypsy) influences on it. Incidentally, they seem to get a lot of hate just for sounding so similar to Soulfly (frontman Zoltán Farkas does sound a LOT like Max Cavalera), but so what? Most metal music is unintentionally derivative as hell nowadays, especially in the United States. There’s only so many riffs that you can play, especially when everyone is downtuning. Sepultura undeniably influenced many bands worldwide. In fact, they were one of the first metal bands outside of the “Big 4” that I had ever heard, when Chaos A.D. was first released.
Think about it: metal is the ONLY musical genre which basically sounds the same no matter where you are from. Rock music is predominantly from the U.S. and U.K., rap music is almost solely a U.S. export that has influenced people worldwide, and pop music has its own certain touches that distinguish its nation of origin, even if the basic formula of writing a popular song remains the same. But, no matter where you come from, if you are checking out a metal band, you can be guaranteed that it’s going to be motherfucking METAL.
Ektomorf is seriously great, though. I’ve always been partial to simple, stripped down hardcore, punk rock, and metal music, which they effortlessly deliver. Now, don’t get me wrong, they can play. They can rip out some nasty guitar leads. Farkas is even endorsed by guitar manufacturer ESP, and has one of the most awesome signature guitars that I’ve ever seen. Daniel Szabo, the drummer, locks into some killer grooves and beats his drumkit like it stole something (their former drummer Robert Jaksa was also awesome). The entire band plays with such passion and energy that I can’t help but like them.
Admittedly, I haven’t heard all of their music yet, but the albums “Black Flag” and “Fury” are fucking fantastic. Some songs in particular of theirs that I like are “War Is My Way”, “Aggressor”, “You Can’t Control Me”, “Black Flag”, and “Souls On Fire”. They have many songs and videos on YouTube to check out, but almost no Internet presence otherwise, beyond a Wikipedia page and random articles. That, more than anything, is what pushed me to write this article (even though I only write sporadically nowadays, I still get a considerable amount of viewers from Hungary, and Europe in general). If you are an Ektomorf fan reading this, I salute you. And, in the off chance a member of the band reads this, I want to thank you, for giving me some kickass metal music from Hungary to listen to!
P.S. pardon the loose Google Translate transliteration 🙂
P.P.S. If anybody wants to recommend other bands from Hungary to check out, I’d appreciate it!