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Exalt at UNITE & IGNITE FEST ’13 – Ottawa Live Review

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Who: Exalt

From: Kitchener, ON      

Where: Unite & Ignite Fest 2013 at the Montgomery Legion, Ottawa

When: Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Total Score: 8/10

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Style:  Raw, crass, brutal hardcore. Exalt brings a sound that is so emotional and chaotic it is just begging you to listen. Fitting into the hardcore or metalcore genre, Exalt has a tone sure to move their listeners. Some of the sound was lost to unbalanced levels during the live performance but you can hear it all on their recordings. Exalt has a very raw sound with emotion running through the veins of every song; this is not empty music and is not for the faint of heart. Exalt is here for a reason and they make that clear through musical undertakings.

Crowd:  Exalt hailing from Kitchener, Ontario played second to last on the Saturday date of UNITE & IGNITE.  The crowd was quite large in anticipation of Counterparts’ set, yet it seemed as if there was a select few that were there because of Exalt. As the band took their stage the crowd was listening with open ears and although it took a while for things to get going, eventually the audience response was just as chaotic as the sound Exalt encapsulates. Bodies thrashing everywhere, releasing emotion through the angry tone of the music, it was safe to say that Exalt had earned themselves a few new fans after they completed their set. Some audience members could not handle Exalt’s sound however this was to be expected due to the experimental nature of their music. Overall Exalt seemed to be accepted by most, as the crowd reaction was impressive.

Technicalities:  Heavy, distorted tone takes over Exalt’s sound with raw emotion pouring out of the vocalist, Tyler Brand. Through a chaotic almost messy sound, Exalt wraps up so much emotion and meaning it is hard not to appreciate.  Although not the most technical, the guitar tone radiates through the venue and expresses the feeling of chaos to the audience. Sharp drums fill out the sound, bringing it all together to get the loud, hectic music that Exalt brings to the table.

Image/Sex Appeal:  Scraggily, bearded individuals that look like musicians on the road. Their appearance is a perfect expression of their music and gives off a vibe that all they care about is the music itself. On stage the band portrays a frenzied attitude that goes along perfectly with the music and it lets the audience see and feel the sentiment draining out of the individuals on stage.

Memorable Moment:  Vocalist Tyler Brand has lyrical content that is so personal, and meaningful it is hard to go unnoticed, especially during a point in the set when he screamed a cappella to finish of a song.  The raw emotion pouring out of Brand was truly as touching as it was eye opening. Brand is known for doing this and it definitely turns the head of every listener.

Overall: Exalt’s sound may not be for everyone, the thrashing chaotic hardcore that it is.  However one thing is for sure and that is that Exalt is a force to be reckoned with and a band that truly cares about the quality of their music.  With a focus on lyrical content and a meaningful message, Exalt is catching attention with every live performance.  The best way to understand what this band is all about is to see them live, and I would recommend doing so.

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Reviewed and written by Jonathan (Jono) Del Pozo

Photos by Matthew Clark

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