From Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Exalt represents the new wave of metallic hardcore. Along with peers Code Orange, Harm's Way, and Old Wounds, their dark, minimal and crushing sound is a mix of caveman heaviness and haunting melody.
Comprised of vocalist Tyler Brand, guitarist/vocalist Ben Waugh, drummer Tim Waugh and bassist Mitch McEwan, Exalt’s influences can be traced back to a range of bands that first made their mark in the '90s: hardcore heroes Converge; purveyors of industrial-strength dread Godflesh; and even some of the artists responsible for bringing metal to the mainstream in that decade and ushering in nu-metal, like Deftones and Fear Factory.
Produced by Pete Grossman and Andy Nelson at Bricktop Recording (Harm's Way, Weekend Nachos), the sound on The Shape You Took Before the Ache exudes massive heaviness
through simple, brutish riffs and primitive, machine-like rhythms. From opener "Sacrifice to Purify" onward, the band makes it clear that the intent is maximum impact through minimalist tactics, harking back to a time in metal's past when raw power ruled. Adding another dimension to the music, are the haunting melodies that arise up out of the punishment on many of the songs. "Worship" is elevated to a whole other astral plane by a soaring chorus vocal, contrasting vicious chugs; on "The Ache," "The Shape" and "I Dove Into the Sun," the band descends fully into a fragile, atmospheric realm, creating beautiful and unsettling moments. It is a further realization of what was promised by 2014 sophomore album Pale Light, which Substream called, "ominous... haunting... a foreboding soundtrack."