The Best Band in Nebraska is Borealis


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 Nebraska, the birthplace of Kool-Aid powder and the motherfucking Reuben sandwich. The best band in Nebraska is Borealis.

When I was but a wee lad, I knew this kid that would fill his soda cup with a little bit of all of the machine’s selections. He held each button down with meticulous timing and layered with savant strategy. He was like a little chemist, taking time to smell and taste his concoctions before moving on, just like real chemists do. The kid was a prick bastard and I hated his guts, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t somehow manage to create a tasteful fusion out of many disparate flavors. Every time I tried to do it myself, it ended up tasting like some major ass.

The moral of the story: I suck at everything. Also – mixing things can yield mixed results. A deft hand might be able to make spaghetti and chunky peanut butter work, but I sure as hell can’t. I discovered that the hard way last week. It haunts my bowels still.

Left – the torso of Alex Kinnerk; Mid – the torso of Billy Liebermann; Right – the torso of Jay Jacobson

This trio doesn’t seem to have that problem. They’re master mixologists of metal. Borealis takes old school death metal, some thrash, some doom, and some punk, then somehow blends it together in a way that sounds way, way better than it should. It’s not a spasmodic jump back and forth between styles, either. You get something more with Borealis; something coalesced and fully realized. Guitarist / vocalist Alex Kinnerk barks pissed-off, punked-out vocals over perfectly-executed death metal riffage, seamlessly connecting doomy passages (think Autopsy) with more energetic, thrashy sections (think Repulsion), and the occasional hardcore stomp. The coupling of punky vocals with this sort of riffing takes on an air similar to bands like Black Breath, only packed with more vitriol. This is pissed off music for hating everything. And I mean really, really hating every single thing ever. I can’t remember the last time a song made my blood boil like it does during 1:25 of “Death Anxiety”. I mean, shit, man. That riff has all the makings of an anger-fueled, living-room destruction spree.

Their most recent EP, To See With One’s Own Eyes, came out last year. It clocks in at around 25 minutes, and I highly recommend it.


Don’t trust me? Smart move. Put your faith in the opinions of our renowned judges instead…

W: Do you like riffz, cuz Borealis has the riffz. Wrecking ball chords demolish all opponents while d-beat jackhammers crack the earth. However, Borealis isn’t a one-trick pony by any means. The band supplements its already pulverizing approach with super heavy chugs that dig deeper than an oil well. Prepare to destroy your domicile in a hate mosh.

Tyree: There are influences from all around here, but I pick up a lot of punky thrash, sludge, and even some grind. Bands like Noothgrush and Mammoth Grinder come to mind in particular. This is a dismal and fierce sounding band that obviously are fed up with this shit fucking world we live in. There is some serious riffage going on here while the drums are played ferociously and tight. Vocals are barked out aggressively, very much similar to Chris Ulsh’s style. Production is raw, which is fitting for their gritty style of playing This album is ugly as fuck. Sit back and let Borealis remind you of how shitty we all really are.

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
Montana – Martriden

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