The Best Band in Montana is Martriden

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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 state with the largest migratory elk herd and the largest breeding population of trumpeter swans. The best band in Montana is Martriden.

Groove? Check. Musicianship? Check. Crushing tremolo-picked riffs? Check. Proggy, melodic stuff? Check. What label are Martriden on again? One would think that a band this good at melodic black/death with two great albums under their collective belt would have a home by now, but alas, they do not.

The very first thing that I noticed when listening to 2010’s Encounter the Monolith is that, unlike many of the bands that I’ve listened to throughout the course of this here contest, they sound very professional. Martriden wouldn’t be entirely out of place on Metal Blade and touring with a band like The Black Dahlia Murder, whose fanbase would be all over them in a second. At times Monolith reminds me of Soreption and Decapitated, but with more of a penchant for melody and blackened riffing.

Speaking of riffing, the guitars deftly combine melodic and atmospheric parts with more technical and pounding sections to mix up the songs and make them seem a lot shorter than they are (upwards of 7:30 on average). There are also keyboards to be found here, but they’re mostly used to add layers to the atmosphere instead of Rhapsody-ing all over it and everything else. As for the drums, they’re pretty straightforward, fast double-bass stuff, but tight and on point nonetheless. The vocals are more on the black metal shriek side than anything else for the most part, and there aren’t any cleans, so you can listen to this without fear of losing your Trve Kred Kvlt points (patent pending). Thank the sound engineer, the bass glues the whole thing together and is audible when it needs to be, with a sweet distorted tone to boot.

Metal labes of the world, get in here: Martriden have been patient enough. I’m looking at you Earache, this isn’t Blackberry Smoke but it’s your shot at redemption and I’d advise you not to blow it. Go like Martriden on Facebook and tell ’em the Toilet says “Sup.”

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what our judges had to say:

Spear: Martriden are a blackened death outfit that drop the pretense of “being” a blackened death band; they simply are both. The music transitions between blistering fury and thoughtful contemplation with surprising fluidity, and none of it feels forced. Raging and intelligent, majestic and pulverizing, Martriden perfectly encapsulate the concept of blackened death metal.

Guacamole Jim: Melding blistering fury, technical prowess, and the perfect amount of epic intensity, Martriden come at the listener full force, taking no prisoners. Elements of Gojira are present in the rhymths, yet Martriden retains a style that is their own, a style that commands the listener’s attention. The elements of the band meld together in a seamless, shifting tapestry to form an aural force dark and menacing, alive and unchained. This is not music for the brooding or melancholy; this is music for the aggressive, for the angry. Grease up your neck and prepare to thrash all unfortunate enough to be near you from the moment you click “play” until the dying echoes of the last song fade from your ears.

Dagon: Usually when you think of black/death metal fusions you think of bands who use some elements of one of the styles to spice up the other. Martriden, on the other hand, stands out for seemingly striking the perfect balance between black and death, with a couple shades of progressive rock thrown in for good measure. If you like catchy riffs that appeal to both the thinking head and the banging head, look no further.


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
Mississippi – Jared Moran (Yzordderrex/Uzumaki)
Missouri – Existem

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