I'd always heard EKTOMORF were SOULFLY rip-offs, but I reserved judgment until I could actually hear one of the band's albums. Having now heard "Instinct", I must say that the word on the street is pretty damn accurate. Cloning SEPULTURA or SOULFLY may not be a bad thing if you're a fan of either band. By the same token, such blatant mimicry may totally piss you off. Well, I do like SEPULTURA and some of the early SOULFLY stuff, and this doesn't piss me off nor do I find it particularly endearing. To me, it's simply a middling album that is unoriginal as hell and that relies on a ton of low-end chug and a Hungarian Max Cavalera impersonator (Zoltán Farkas).
I mean come on, the opening track, "Set Me Free", would have fit right in on albums like SEPULTURA's "Roots" and SOULFLY's "Primitive" (especially the latter). You'll even hear bits of the tribal thing, such as the mid-section of "Show your Fist". Setting aside the rants about being unoriginal (I won't necessarily hang a band for repeating formulas anyway), "Instinct" does appeal to my like of tough chugging, thunderous drumming, and angry vocals. The album doesn't stray far from the formula, even with certain accents, guitar solos, and slight atmospheric parts. Fortunately, picking up the pace and changing up the arrangement, if just a bit, on songs like "The Holy Noise", "I Break You", and "Until the End" makes the album marginally more interesting.
If you can't get enough of this stuff, you may want to add "Instinct" to your collection. However, the only reason I'm listening to it is because it's a promotional copy; I probably wouldn't buy it. If I need a fix I can listen to SOULFLY or SEPULTURA. I'm also not a big enough fan of either act to seek out the imitators. "Instinct" is a pretty good imitation, but it's still an imitation. There are no secret ingredients.