The Best Band in Kentucky is Ad Infinitum
Back in August we asked you to help us find the best unsigned bands in America. After listening to hundreds of submissions, we finally narrowed down our pick for the Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens in hit TV series Justified state. The best band in Kentucky is Ad Infinitum.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is known as the bluegrass state. Not bluegrass, but bluegrass (or Poa pratensis), a herbaceous perennial plant 30–70 centimetres (12–28 in) tall, with leaves that have boat-shaped tips, narrowly-linear, up to 20 centimetres (8 in) long and 3–5 millimetres (0.12–0.20 in) broad, smooth or slightly roughened, with a rounded to truncate ligule 1–2 millimetres (0.039–0.079 in) long (source: where do you think?). Kentucky’s soil is characteristically well-drained and fertile enough to support poa pratensis (as well as the tobacco plant, the bourbon plant, the racehorse plant, and their most highly-valued export: the fried chicken skin plant). Recently (and most notably through the acclaim of Panopticon‘s referential album in 2012) the metalverse has been made aware that Kentucky is also fertile soil for atmospheric black metal. So how’s that for a transition?
Kentucky‘s success garnered some attention for existing, lesser known Kentuckian bands and seemingly inspired the formation of many other bands of a similar style. Which, if any, of these camps Ad Infinitum falls into I cannot say. But I can and will say this, in the simplest toilet vernacular: Stay Ad Infinitum >>>>>>/10.
Unlike Panopticon and their ilk, the mysterious J.G.S. (the sole member of Ad Infinitum) isn’t focused on cramming the nerd of Appalachian folk music into the locker of atmospheric black metal, and so opts for a more traditional, straightforward approach. Instead of dicking around with banjos he channels all of his focus into constructing thick, engrossing atmosphere, and that focus pays off. This year’s Woven Within is a deeply evocative piece of music, often emanating coldness, isolation, and depression at Xasthur or Leviathan level, albeit far less coarsely. The reverb-drenched litany of repetitious guitar is the substructure for the vast, far-flung soundscape on display here, and J.G.S.’ cursed howls are like remote cries for help, doomed behind the wall of sound. While sometimes ethereal and otherwordly, at its most expressive it’s disturbingly familiar, unbinding the bleak and dispiriting emotions we prefer to keep locked up tight.
Here’s what our other judges had to say:
Tyree: It’s great to see that one ov my favorite black metal albums of the year is doing so well. I promoted Ad Infinitum here on ToH months ago so it’s really cool to see that he was voted the best unsigned band from Kentucky. Woven Within is both a harsh and a pleasant listen. The album soars through thick and dismal soundscapes led by harsh, reverb cloaked distorted guitars and mournful shrieks that haunt and depress the mind. Woven Within will make the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up and drag your unsaved soul into the unholy void. This album simply rules!
W.: Our resident beefcake SMOHLG is the first one who told me about these dudes. Raw black metal with strains of the grandiose and stellar artistic direction? Count me in.
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.
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
Kansas – Bummer