The Best Band In Wisconsin Is Arctic Sleep

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Back in August 2014 we asked you to help us find the best unsigned bands in America. After listening to hundreds of submissions and fighting a lot, we finally narrowed down our pick for the cheesiest state. The best band in Wisconsin is Arctic Sleep.

Let me preface this by saying that I have done zero research on the state of Wisconsin for purposes of this write-up and that I’m relying entirely on what little I know about the state based on my exposure to what it’s most known for. Allow me to illustrate in bullet point form:

  • Wisconsin’s union busting Governor Scott Walker has been elected to different positions on twelve different occasions based solely on the pretty presentation of his hair and teeth. This is just my opinion but you can thank poorly educated voters for the result. It’s also rumored that he snorts a lot of Koch.
  • There’s this football team called the Green Bay Packers who have this popular guy on their team named Aaron Rodgers. He’s down with State Farm’s Discount Double Check and he wears khaki pants when he’s not throwing around a torpedo shaped projectile made of pig skin.
  • The state is also famous for cheese which winds up on a lot of sub par death metal records.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way we can talk about the best band in Wisconsin: Arctic Sleep. This band does a lot of things that I vehemently despise musically; they have long songs, pristine production, they rarely ever mix up the tempos. Despite my contempt for all those attributes, I cannot deny that their latest album, Passage Of Gaia has all those things working in their favor. Arctic Sleep transports you high above the clouds and opens up a portal so that you can sit down Indian style while you find yourself entranced in their style of progressive atmospheric doom. There’s some auto tune going on in the vocals but it meets the needs of Goldilocks and her porridge specifications, it’s just right (and doesn’t reach T-Pain levels of absurdity). Arctic Sleep sounds like Intronaut‘s tender side clashing with the spacey elements of the Deftones Koi No Yokan. Listening to these guys makes you want to lie down on a hammock and drift off into space or focus your level of concentration while doing rad yoga poses and pilates. If you tune out all distractions and immerse yourself in this album, you will find that there is truly something special going on here. Arctic Sleep strikes a balance between beauty and heavy that so many have tried but few have achieved. How is this band not signed?

Not convinced? I have the backing of several TovH scribes that will cosign to what I’m saying:

Joe Thrashnkill: Arctic Sleep have a damn fine sense of songwriting and pristine production that would be a welcome addition to modern rock radio (if modern rock radio wasn’t, y’know, terrible). This band deserves to go places.

Hessian Hunter: When you need PROG and also want some dang FEELINGS to go with it, Arctic Sleep is your band. Like if Poison The Well ghostwrote a Baroness album.

Dagon: The prog tag is something that usually drives me away but the doomy bits and the emotion put in by Arctic Sleep hits me right in my nuts. I mean, feels. Their catchy songwriting doesn’t hurt either. This is a good album to listen to while having a cup of coffee on a gray afternoon.

Honorable Mentions

Poney  – Weird yet tasteful psychedelic rockin’ post metal/hardcore
Apache Revolver – Self described surf black metal


The Toilet ov Hell is on an absurd quest to find the best unsigned band in each state of this glorious union. The purpose? To shine the spotlight on bands that deserve more exposure. Also, we’re going to determine once and for all the greatest state in the nation. Each state winner is decided by a collection of 25 judges. After we’ve announced the winner of each state, we’re gonna throw them all in a winner-take-all bracket and leave the votes up to you. Who will be the best unsigned band in the United States? Which state is superior? We can’t wait to find out.

Previous winners:

Alabama — Phylum
Alaska — Terraform
Arizona – Take Over And Destroy
Arkansas – Torii
California – Destroy Judas
Colorado – The Sleer
Connecticut – Autumn’s Eyes
Delaware – Sloss
Florida – Capracide
Georgia – Lost Hours
Hawaii – Darkest Path
Idaho – Rotten Hand
Illinois – Deus Ex 
Indiana – Thorr-Axe
Iowa – Blizzard at Sea
Kansas – Bummer
Kentucky – Ad Infinitum
Louisiana – Withering Light
Maine – Sylvia
Maryland – Bereave
Massachusetts – Scaphism
Michigan – Blackgate
Minnesota – Noble Beast
Mississippi – Jared Moran (Yzordderrex/Uzumaki)
Missouri – Existem
Montana – Martriden
Nebraska – Borealis
Nevada – Elephant Rifle
New Hampshire – Eerie
New Jersey – Black Table
New Mexico – Void Ritual
New York – HUSH.
North Carolina – The Seduction
North Dakota – Gorgatron
Ohio – Prize the Doubt
Oklahoma – Cottonmouth
Oregon – Drouth
Pennsylvania – Burden
Rhode Island – Eternal Khan
South Carolina – Solaire
South Dakota – Jelly Nutz Justoner

Tennessee – Forest of Tygers
Texas – Peasant
Utah – Disforia
Vermont – Vaporizer
Virginia – Grethor
Washington – Witch Ripper

West Virginia – Horseburner

Photo (VIA)

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