The Best Band in Virginia is Grethor


Back in August 2014 we asked you to help us find the best unsigned bands in America. After listening to hundreds of submissions and coming up with clever puns for each one of them, we finally narrowed down our pick for the “Mother of Presidents” state. The best band in Virginia is Grethor.

Ah, Virginia, the Old Dominion, birthplace of politicians. It is a land where greed and corruption run as deep as the roots of the ancient trees in the Shenandoah Valley. It is a state where tradition and tyranny are points of pride, evinced by the persistence of the single oldest law-making body in the New World and the headquarters of multiple Federal law-enforcement agencies. Is it any wonder then that such musty, old-world confines would birth something rank and subversive?

Enter Grethor, a black metal ensemble steeped in the lore of mythical underworlds and eldritch horror and dedicated to the craft of upending tradition. Cloaked in Decay is a singular statement of intent, its purpose focused on spreading the disease that gnaws greedily away at the status quo in the dark. Its songs, byzantine. Its instrumental performance, tight where they need to be, loose when necessary, and oddly melodic as fits. Its vocals, grating, in the best sense of the word. Its composition, exacting, surprising, and unconventional. Its pace, slow and pensive before erupting into full-fledged blasting blasphemy. Its artwork and composition, perfectly suiting for the music. This is an excellent performance by a professional young band dedicated to taking the path less traveled through the yellowing, rotting wood, leaving devastation in its wake.

You can pick up Cloaked in Decay for cheap at Bandcamp and take the diseased path yourself, but perhaps you should heed the words of the other critics before you do.

Cybernetic Organism: “Wander outside on a cold, rainy day. Head toward the nearest forest. Now jump face-first into a mud puddle, cover yourself with soil & loose gravel and make a ramshackle cloak out of tree branches, dead leaves and carrion. Punch yourself in the head a few times. Now wander back toward civilization, bug out your eyes and scream at everyone around you with a blend of hate, bewilderment and medieval doomsayer lunacy. Congratulations, you have now approximated listening to Grethor’s unique blend of blackened dissonance and deathly filthiness, with just the right amount of tortured banshee vocalization to complement their vision of horror.”

Stockhausen: “Is Grethor black metal? Yes. Did I know what to expect when I clicked play? I sorta hoped for less flesh to be rent from my cold, fragile bones, but it was worth it. When off-kilter riffs combine with screeching vocals, nothing is sacred, but everything is awesome.”

Seek out Grethor on Facebook and tell them the Toilet sent you.

Honorable Mentions

Beggar’s Row: Old-school crossover
Caust: Grind/Scramz

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

(Photo VIA)

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