The Best Band in Ohio is Prize the Doubt


Back in August 2014 we asked you to help us find the best unsigned bands in America. After listening to hundreds of submissions and calling each other lots of names, we finally narrowed down our pick for the “God hates your pro teams” state. The best band in Ohio is Prize the Doubt.

We’ve covered a ton of bands with a ton of sounds in this feature: ambient noise, death metal, grind, power metal, hardcore, stoner metal, noise rock, black metal, post metal, and a whole lot of other jams. Today, our 50 state project has brought us to a genre I did not expect us to touch – SKRAMZ. “What the fuck is a skramz?”, you say to yourself because you stopped listened to anything other than Anthrax bootlegs over twenty years ago. Skramz is another word for “screamo”. Before you start shrieking “Poser” through Cheeto-chapped lips, please note that we’re not talking about the flat-ironed and bastardized form of screamo of the early-and-mid-aughts (relevant: the words “Hawthorne Heights” activate the spam filter in the comments). Today we’re talking about raw emotional and complex hardcore as practiced by Orchid or pageninetynine or other 90s bands for smart, sad kids.

Which brings us to Columbus, Ohio’s own Prize the Doubt. Though only a two-piece band, Jeremy Hill’s frenetic drums anchor Alex Webb’s chaotic fretwork and unconventional vocals to create huge waves of emotion much larger than the duo themselves. The true strength of Prize the Doubt comes from their smart songwriting and complex arrangements. The pair have an economy of sound that at times recalls the roller coaster compositions of Converge. Elsewhere, they adopt the dramatic builds and dynamic releases of Circle Takes the Square or City of Caterpillar.

Prize the Doubt’s 2014 full length New Aesthetic is easily the highest point of this young band yet. Expect equal parts rage, furious math, and shimmering depth.  Go like Prize the Doubt on Facebook and listen to New Aesthetic below:


But don’t just take my word for it, here’s what a few of the friendly judges had to say:

Dubya: Listen here, Mr. Bigandtuffmetalguy, we all know you feel things, despite how much you want to act to the contrary. Maybe, and hear me out on this, maybe you’d be happier if you stopped resisting and let yourself feel those things. Skramz is the perfect skeleton key to unlock your grumpy heart, and there are few bands able to make you cry while still sounding jagged like Prize the Doubt. So go ahead, let it all out while PtD pound you with a shrieking feelhammer. I’m here for you.

HessianHunter: Prize the Doubt will raise your hairs until you raze your hairs. Sign me up.

Honorable Mentions:

Domestic TerrorThese Columbus Slam merchants will make you wave your arms like you just don’t care. Go listen on Bandcamp.

CoelacanthCrusty, dirty, stanky, smelly metallic hardcore from Cincy. Check out their Bandcamp.

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

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