APÄRÄ, Zymotic, Tightlip, Omerta, Death Exclamations, and The Nailbiters @ The Legion


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.

Taking the Legion by storm, The Nailbiters played their first show and moulded their own unique energy that would leave impressions on everyone attending. From their soundcheck to their proper set, the band ripped right into the atmosphere. Sounding like they were thrown into a dingy garage, The Nailbiters absolutely had this to their advantage. 

The vocals shrieked, raw and raspy. They were rough and unlike anything previously heard—anger and soul drenched them. Almost lost within the raging of the other instruments, they came through nonetheless and with a wild energy. Painting the soundscape bitter greens and maroon reds, the colours add to the intensity of their riveting sound.

The chugging of the guitar and bass in combinations played with orange and vivid reds. The two melded together and while you could feel the difference in your chest, it’s so tightknit that you need to listen to distinguish the two because they follow and hold each other together. The pick scrapes, however, are ever prominent and executed flawlessly. The solos played left room for the bass to hold the songs together while allowing the guitar to shred.

The drums came in cold and brutal, painting the scene all shades of blue. The cymbals crashed wildly and it ensued thrashing from the crowd. Unellegant suited the vibe given off. 

Next up were Death Exclamations, a band filled with well-loved Ottawa punks, all who have been in at least four different bands at a time. Little smiles and energy through the roof, the guys crashed through the silence and tore the Legion apart with their ferocity.

The bass rumbled loud and proud right up in the foreground and managed to meld between the guitar. Once the guitar came in, the place was ripped apart the last bit of calm that would have been left. Steady and reminiscent of Discharge, there was that muffled aspect to the guitar while it maintained anger. The solo’s seemed to egg on a challenge of sorts that tied everything together.

The drumming was quick and cold, a bitter bite behind it. The snare sounded flat and full instead of resonant and hollow. Meanwhile, Sammy’s vocals ripped through the irritated instrumental and while they were hard to decipher, they were delivered with extreme passion. Scrapped from the back of his throat and spit out into the microphone, not a single beat is missed. 

Up next were Ottawa’s, Omerta, who yet again redefined ear-splitting chaos. The vocals packed an extremely powerful punch, each word hitting you like a brick to the head. Sierra stomped around from one end of the “stage” to the next, passion and rage mixing into the performance. The vocals turned everything blue and drenched the very middle of the scene. 

The guitar played with a controlled feedback while it spat out heavy melancholy as buildup to what was to be unleashed. The power of the weighted chords and the dark aquamarine they created clashed with the drums and the yellow produced by them. The drumming and guitar played an interesting game—thrashing against solo’s, silence against a roar of power chords.

The bass shook your core and you could hear the deep rumble in the background, slight tonal differences or riffs than the guitar would play over, it remained pronounced. It added a strong backbone to the songs. The drumming, which came with enthusiasm and unrivaled vexation tainted each open area a stark magenta. It was hard to rip your ears away from it.

After OmertaTightlip took to the stage and completely obliterated any notion of limits to their capabilities. Belting out the vocals with a grit an weight to her voice was Ashly all while playing the bass. Her quick basslines shred and remained booming throughout the set. Reds tainted over my vision as the bassline peeked through more and more, raspy and deep vocals adding an orange dimension to the pieces.

James’ drumming sent a frigid chill down spines and contrasted any warmth that emanated from the bass. Skeletal and heavy, there was absolutely no apologies for how assertive each beat fell. It intermingled with the colours the guitar emit while playing solo’s and added incredible power. 

The guitar lashed out untamable energy, crushing blue’s for solos transitioned to deep magentas the deeper the chords went. It had a bite to it that radiated a bitter vibe. 

Moreover, Tightlip made sure to call out those who moshed too aggressively —you know who you are. They tried to bring more safety into the scene while playing their set and remained unapologetic about it.

Pen-ultimately were Zymotic from Montreal, Quebec. They tore into the set like no tomorrow, thrashing about, rasping out line after line. They brought out the second most intense pit of the night.

The guitar burst through the basslines with scarcely any mercy and blew roaring greens into the soundscape. With the more metallic sound to the strings and flat sound to the guitar it really took over the space. The bass stood out for the fat and round sound it carried. Weighted and packing a punch it was hard to miss the strong basslines. Muddy army greens drenched the place with bubbles of it. 

The drumming stood out on its own—hollow and fucking loud. Standing out was not the snare but rather the heavy usage of the toms. Reminiscent of drumming you might hear in metal, it did not fail to entice. It came out as murky yellow and sunburst oranges while the cymbals seemed to add a few spots of a dirty pastel blue.

Lastly, all the way from Mexico were APÄRÄ. The band, whilst expelling an intense amount of raw-as-fuck aggression, absolutely encapsulated the energy that a show needed. Having kicked off the end of the night with rapid drumming and quick fills, pick slides drenched in feedback, basslines that boomed, they worked the crowd.

The vocals tore through the instrumentals with the punch they packed—weighted as all hell and coming out as elongated screams, they followed and fell from rhythms systematically.  Drumming crashed right into the vocals and set the rhythms that broke and were restitched. It was hollow and commanding.

The guitars droned on, overdriven with feedback dripping into nearly every note. Deep power chords completely took over and superimposed one another, chugging on in a fit of dominance.  Inserting itself into the chaos was the bass, which added a dimension to the guitar playing that wasn’t otherwise found. It acted as a wild backbone.

It’s safe to say that these bands are all nes you should get your asses out to see. They’re incredibly wild and wreak havoc on just about everything. Just keep in mind to hold yourself to pit etiquette and keep each other safe. Respect the space and respect others.