OXW 2018: Day 5 – Faze, Tortured Skull, Power of Fear


Ev has synesthesia, and they incorporate their sensory experiences into music reviews. Synesthesia is a condition in which the brain links a person’s senses together in a rare manner, prompting unusual sensory responses to stimuli. People with synesthesia, for example, might see a certain color in response to a certain letter of the alphabet. Those who experience synesthesia “hear colors, feel sounds, and taste shapes” in a remarkably consistent fashion.

To end Ottawa Explosion Weekend on a positive note, the last three bands performed at Pressed with ferocity. They showed the crowd no mercy and added fuel to the fire of the moshpit.

First to play their set was Power of Fear. The band opened with a bang and tore right through the cafe’s atmosphere. The pace was set with a bassline that tainted the atmosphere with burgundy’s so deep, and drumming that became frigid as winter’s air. Emmanuel’s (co-organizer of Ottawa Explosion) vocals belted out and sliced through the air effortlessly and with severe grit. While they were rough, they allowed mustard yellow, deep orange, and rust to leak out into the open. Agitated, and fervent, the flood of red was not to be stopped, the guitar work resonated and provided loose feedback.

Sof, also of DOXX, screamed in the middle of their set— “this band is so hot, holy fuck!”. In all honesty, this band is one that will fill your heart to the brim and get you moshing with the first screams.

Next up were Tortured Skull from Hatfield, Massachusetts. With weighted riffs and deep screams, the band got the crowd to open up a mosh pit seconds after starting. The guitar held a large presence while it shifted from reds to deep greens. Backed up by the rumble of the bass, the guitar was dark and overdriven. The bass slammed into your chest full force and showed no remorse. Murky reds mixed into the soundscape while the bass roared in your ears. Shrill and boney drumming accompanied the rest, having mixed warm and cool. The cymbals cold and sea green while the toms created a much different scene entirely. Vocals unlike any other, drawn from the throat, dyed the atmosphere deep forest greens and navy blues that were far from recognition. The vocals roared with hostility while the instruments seemed to only add to the aggression produced.

Tortured Skull are are a must-see band. Their energy remains unique and difficult to match. Perfect for kicking off the summer—or ending it—the band is one to leave you awestruck.

Closing off Ottawa Explosion Weekend were Montreal’s Faze. Slow starts to hostile buildups, the band not only managed to pull off crowd-surfing at Pressed but also created the largest pit I have seen at such a crammed venue. The vocals were a lot more mellow than anticipated, but nonetheless held a fury unbeknownst to me before this moment. The raw emotion that trampled out was unmatched and the dark magenta and raw sienna scene splattered across my vision. The bass added to the colour scheme and incorporated irritated oranges and scarlets, the deep rumble sending shock waves through the air. The guitar raged on, solos an angsty yellow while the chord progressions were otherwise a murky green.

Faze is a buildup of emotions waiting to be released and when they are, all hell breaks loose. All in all they were a good way to close off Ottawa Explosion Weekend just the way it was meant to be closed off; surrounded by good people and good tunes.