It’s hard to imagine Windsor, Ontario is a particularly welcoming place for a metal band. Yet lo and behold, the so-called “City of Roses” has produced a collective of local veterans that are making large crimson waves across the country. The Apex made their first-ever stop in Montreal in late November, where they were given a warm, drunken reception.
The band, who compare themselves to acts like Meshuggah and The Dillinger Escape Plan, pride themselves on sheer brutality. Far from being driven by melody, they boast a highly technical brand of metal, with dizzying time signature changes and frantic chugging riffs. Frontman Darren Marchand has perfected a guttural, primitive roar that rips through the band like a metal saw. This oppressive wall of sound only occasionally gives way to a jazzy guitar solo or a fuzzy bass riff, and when it does it’s so sudden and short it almost feels tongue-in-cheek. The band’s style has become so synonymous with their hometown that it’s acquired the name “Windsor Ghetto Tech.” This distinctive style is the result of five musicians who’ve already cut their teeth in Ontario’s metal scene coming together under one name.
The Apex opened for native Montreal Black Metal outfit Erimha, as well as fellow Ontarians Killitorous on the 27th of November. Katacombes on Saint-Laurent may boast itself as being for “Artists of all sorts, whether they are painters, jewellery makers or even dance teachers,” but the pillar of skulls holding up the ceiling-not to mention the name- screams “metal” loud and clear. The band may not have been the biggest name on the bill- and really, it’s difficult to stand out when the headlining act is called Killitorous– but their furious wall of energy appears to have left a big, sledgehammer-shaped mark on the audience.
The band’s self-titled debut album has been on shelves for the better part of a year, and so far it has garnered a not-insignificant amount of critical acclaim. Only time will tell if Montreal metal-heads have room in their inky black hearts for a band like The Apex.
Written By: Ian Down
Originally Published: December 2015