The Best Band in West Virginia is Horseburner


Back in August 2014 we asked you to help us find the best unsigned bands in America. After listening to hundreds of submissions and fighting a lot, we finally narrowed down our pick for the most Appalachian, and therefore most terrifying state. The best band in West Virginia is Horseburner.

West Virginia! The name alone brings so many colorful connotations. Folk music! Abandoned coal mines! Hillbillies! Ham! Other things! I’ve never been to West Virginia, and barring an unlikely-yet-hilarious freak accident involving my body and a giant West Virginia-based magnet, this situation will likely not change. But if the state starts pumping out more bands like Horseburner, and bands like Horseburner keep pumping out releases like the Strange Giant EP, I might just be swayed.

Musically, Horseburner occupy a space similar to other “Best Band” winners Witch Ripper and The Seduction. Expect equal parts Mastodon and Thin Lizzy. And if that doesn’t sound righteous, you can fuck right off. This 4-piece from Parkersburg, WV have been together since 2009 and they’ve been steadily improving the entire time. Strange Giant is their best work to date.

Let’s start with opener “Strange Giant”. It begins with the jangle of a slowly strummed guitar and launches into a glacial lurch. This is where doom fans will sigh with joy whatever emotion doom fans are capable of feeling, and attention-deprived morons like me get restless. Fortunately, at about a minute and a half in, the band kick starts some hot rockin’. It’s infectious, man, especially the tasty dual guitar solos that creep through above the hip-shaking drums and bass. “Worship the Wizard” will have you worshiping that Wizard IF YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING (note: I don’t know what I’m saying). Finally, we’re taken to “Pull Forth the Blade” and I want to fight a room full of 80s movie tough guys. JUST LISTEN TO THAT SHIT FUCKIN’ WAIL.

Go like Horseburner on Facebook and tell ’em the Toilet says “sup”.


But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what some of our judges had to say:

Stockhausen: The font that Horseburner uses makes me think “This band likes the 70s, and I will be bored” because that’s how I judge bands and I’m a douche. While my suspicions of their favorite decade may have been spot on, I was not even close to being bored. Horseburner has their groovy, rifftastic style down to a science, but not the kind of science that has, like, boring numbers and stuff. Replace all the numbers and lame facts with heaviness, infectious melody, and gruff, aggressive singing. That’s my kinda science.

Dagon: Horseburner’s strength comes from a layer of mold on top of their sound. It started growing in the 70s, producing neurotoxins that can turn a mellow stoner into an enraged beast. That extra aggression updates their sound and provides you the best of both worlds: you get those searing guitar melodies so catchy and beautiful with some gruff vocals that prevents things from getting derivative.


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
Virginia – Grethor
Washington – Witch Ripper

(Photo VIA)

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