Ektomorf

Vivid Black

Release: Dez. 8th, 2023

The band Ektomorf was founded in 1994 by the charismatic singer/guitarist Zoltan "Zoli" Farkas in Mezőkovácsháza, Hungary. This group has traveled an impressive and remarkable journey to become one of the most well-known and influential metal bands in Europe.

After years of intense rehearsals and hard work, the band managed to sign their first record deal in 1996 and release their debut album "Hangok" in the same year. Although this album initially received modest attention, it marked the beginning of a long journey.

Ektomorf's breakthrough came with their second self-titled album released in 1998. This album earned the band international recognition for the first time and piqued the interest of the metal community outside Hungary. Another significant step was their third album, "Kalyi Jag," in 2000, which further solidified their reputation as an emerging metal band.

However, the pivotal turning point came with their fourth album, "Felüvöltök az égbe," initially released in Hungarian. This album gained attention and led to a label switch to Silverdust Records from Germany. Under the new label, the album was released in English in 2002 under the title "I Scream Up to the Sky." This move marked Ektomorf's European breakthrough and opened doors to international stages.

The band embarked on years of touring in Hungary, but it was time to conquer the international market. Ektomorf brought their powerful grooves and intense lyrics to audiences around the world. Their unique blend of thrash, hardcore, and traditional Roma music began to gather a broad following. However, it wasn't just the music that set them apart; it was also their legendary, high-energy, and destructive live performances. These not only earned Ektomorf the status of the most famous Hungarian metal band but also that of a leading force in their genre.

Magazines like Metal Hammer and Rock Hard covered Ektomorf, and the band took the stages of major European festivals. Their performances became unforgettable experiences where the energy on and off the stage was palpable.

Under contract with Nuclear Blast Records, they released hit albums in the subsequent years such as "Destroy" (2004), "Instinct" (2005), and "Outcast" (2006). These albums showcased that Ektomorf was on the right path with their powerful, groovy style. However, the band didn't remain static. They experimented and incorporated more melodies and traditional acoustic elements to expand their sound. This demonstrated their willingness to evolve and explore new avenues.

In 2004, Ektomorf toured with bands like Pro-Pain and Fear Factory, further strengthening their live presence. In 2005, they embarked on their first headlining tour, the "Monster Mosh Down Tour 2005," alongside bands like Disbelief, Betzefer, and By Night. This tour was a great success and solidified their status as a live act.

Ektomorf continued their streak of success by serving as the support band for acts like Children of Bodom. However, they weren't just present in concerts and festivals but also on the charts. Their move to AFM Records in 2009 brought them their first entry into the German album charts with "What Doesn’t Kill Me..."

In 2010, they released "Redemption," an album that showcased their ruthless and critical side. It was a manifestation of anger, hatred, and social critique, coupled with a human soul.

One of Ektomorf's most notable projects was the acoustic album "The Acoustic," released in February 2012. This experimental album featured cover versions, new and old songs re-recorded in an "unplugged" fashion. This unexpected musical turn helped the band reach a non-traditional audience and led to exclusive acoustic shows and radio performances.

In August 2012, they released "Black Flag," an album that further developed their powerful sound. Recorded in Hungary by their longtime producer and friend Tue Madsen, the album marked another masterpiece.

The year 2013 was a crucial one for Ektomorf as they gained international recognition and success. They switched to the booking agency Artist Coalition Group, which not only secured their biggest headlining tour in Europe but also allowed them to perform at renowned festivals like Wacken Open Air, With Full Force, Sziget Festival, and even the 70000 TONS OF METAL cruise. Additionally, they collaborated closely with Ill Niňo and were part of the "European Epidemic Tour," culminating in sold-out venues and enthusiastic audiences.

In 2015, they released the album "AGGRESSOR," presenting a brand new sound and a focused style. With heavily downtuned guitars and a tight groove, they continued to gain recognition within the metal community, especially among those who had witnessed their impressive live performances.

After releasing many great albums and successful tours throughout Europe, Ektomorf set their sights on the United States of America. In the spring of 2016, the band took the decisive step to conquer the United States. In a successful breakout tour, Ektomorf enthralled American audiences during a 7-week, 40-show tour across the new continent. Few bands from Hungary, let alone the entire Eastern European region, had set foot on American soil before. However, with their already substantial and steadily growing international fanbase and the ever-metal-hungry youth of America awaiting Ektomorf, they were destined to make their mark in the United States. As a true international band, the members of Ektomorf became increasingly active in the metal scene and reached more people with their fantastic live performances and outstanding albums.

In 2018, the band released the album "Fury," which retained their new style with heavily downtuned guitars and a stronger focus on the modern thrash genre. This was reflected in chart placements not only in Germany but also, for the first time, in Austria. The band embarked on their first world tour in history, performing in Europe, North and South America, Russia, and Asia for an extended period.

In January 2021, Ektomorf made a comeback with a new label, a new booking agency, and a new album titled "Reborn." With this album, the band returned to their thrash metal roots. The album achieved their best chart placements to date and showcased the band's versatility, refusing to be confined to a single genre.

In 2022, the band parted ways with their new label and booking agency but returned to their former booking agency, the Artist Coalition Group.

A turning point in Ektomorf's career was their performance at the Rockharz Festival in 2022. Due to difficulties in thoroughly rehearsing the new songs from the "Reborn" album, the band decided to perform an "old school" set that included all their hits up to 2013. This decision received incredibly positive feedback from fans and led the band to start moving away from the thrash genre.

Throughout the entire Covid-19 pandemic, singer Zoli battled with depression. This not only resulted in fewer live performances but also personal challenges. However, the positive side of this time was that he intensely engaged with his music and experimented with many new things. In November 2022, he picked up his guitar and played a version of Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box. He was so thrilled with his own version that he uploaded a short video to his personal Facebook account in November 2022. The fan response was overwhelming, prompting him to share the video on the band's page as well. Here, too, it was enthusiastically received by fans, motivating him to record the song in professional quality. In December 2022, the song was recorded in Hungary at the No Silence Studios and produced and mastered by Tue Madsen. The release took place in February 2023 under Bleeding Nose Records. This single became a milestone in the band's history, amassing over half a million streams on Spotify in a short period.

Shortly thereafter, AFM Records proudly announced the return of the leading European neo-thrash/groove metal band to their ranks: EKTOMORF! They praised the collaboration with Zoli and his band, emphasizing his clear vision for the band and commitment. Ektomorf's return to AFM Records was a vote of confidence that both sides celebrated.

Now, the new album "VIVID BLACK" is on the horizon. This album reflects Zoli's experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic, which were marked by depression. The result is an album that delves into personal relationships, hatred, and anger. It's a work that comes from the heart and is 100% honest. There is nothing beautiful or friendly on this album, but it will provide solace to those going through similar struggles. Zoli wrote this album in just three weeks. "VIVID BLACK" marks another turning point in Ektomorf's career. The band returns to its roots in music while bringing entirely new elements to light, including clear vocal passages and a modern metal sound.

Led by Zoli Farkas, the band Ektomorf remains a fixture in the European metal scene even after more than two decades. Their relentless style and dedication are unmatched. With "VIVID BLACK" and their unwavering passion, they will continue to dominate stages worldwide and get people headbanging around the globe, from small clubs to the biggest festivals. Ektomorf shows that music and the passion for what they do never cease.

Zoli says: "it is the darkest, angriest album I ever wrote. Filled with my hate to those that made me become I didn’t want to be. So Fuck You All !!!“

 

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