YOU Choose the Best Unsigned Band in the U.S: Round 2 pt. 1


The first round is over and the seeded states are jumping into the fray. Today: California vs. Maryland! Kentucky vs. Kansas! Illinois vs. New Mexico! Wisconsin vs. Massachusetts! Ohio vs. Colorado! Maine vs. North Carolina!

Some people say that art isn’t a competition. Those people are losers. EVERYTHING is a competition. Here at the Toilet ov Hell, we’ve gone and declared the best unsigned band in each state of the union. Now we’re pitting these warriors against each other for the right to claim the ultimate prize: The title of Best of the Best. Which band will champion their state to glory? That’s up for you to decide.

Each state was seeded by population size. The 14 most-populous states received a first round bye. Voting for this round closes Sunday, September 6th. Today, 12 bands are battling it out for supremacy. Bereave (MD), Destroy Judas (CA), Ad Infinitum (KY), Bummer (KS), Deus Ex (IL), Void Ritual (NM), Arctic Sleep (WI), Scaphism (MA), Prize the Doubt (OH), The Sleer (CO), Sylvia (ME), and The Seduction (NC).


Destroy Judas (California) VS. Bereave (Maryland)

Destroy Judas – “Using a triple guitar attack, understated drumming that still pummels with the best of them, and vocals that roar with the fury of a angered lion, these fellows carve out epic mournful soundscapes that recall the best of Mouth of the Architect, Minsk, and even Mare (remember them?).”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)


Bereave – “This is chaotic, dissonant, and visceral powerviolence propelled into the stratosphere. D-beats and off-kilter chords collide in a maelstrom of hate, accented by the unleashed venom of the hardcore vocal diatribes. “You’ll never be loved, only forgotten!” this band vows with genuine, palpable menace.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

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Ad Infinitum (KY) VS. Bummer (KS)

Ad Infinitum – “This year’s Woven Within is a deeply evocative piece of music, often emanating coldness, isolation, and depression at Xasthur or Leviathan level, albeit far less coarsely. The reverb-drenched litany of repetitious guitar is the substructure for the vast, far-flung soundscape on display here, and J.G.S.’ cursed howls are like remote cries for help, doomed behind the wall of sound.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

Bummer – “It’ll take you about 14 minutes to listen to Milk. If you’re THAT pressed for time (you’re not), invest 3 minutes and 44 seconds to check out the gnarly grunge riffs on “Estocada”. I’d encourage you to listen to the whole damn thing though. Opener “Infinite Witches” is not only the sickest fucking song name ever, it’s also a complete burner of a song. “Phantom Limb” comes in and rips your stupid beret off with a killer distorted bass riff. “Cave Teeth” brings the kind of chaotic punk noise that will appeal to fans of bands like Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes.”
(Read the full writeup)(Facebook)

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Deus Ex (Illinois) VS. Void Ritual (New Mexico)

Deus Ex – “Since 2006, Jon has been working on Deus Ex (not to be confused with the video game series, you fucking nerd). In May of 2013, he released his first full-length: Corrosive Genesis. The album is a dark and crushing affair with mechanized drums, cinematic keyboards, and tormented howls. It is the exact album I want from an evil android.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

Void Ritual – “Those engaging Void Ritual will find blistering, unrepentant black metal with tremolo riffs more jagged than Sandia peak, vocals more desolate than the atomic desert of White Sands, and talent deeper than the Carlsbad Caverns. Songs flow seamlessly from slower, spiritual passages to visceral volcanic blasts with nary a hitch or odd note to be found. The entirety of Holodomor is beautiful and utterly enchanting.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

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Arctic Sleep (Wisconsin) VS. Scaphism (Massachusetts)

Arctic Sleep – “When you need PROG and also want some dang FEELINGS to go with it, Arctic Sleep is your band. Like if Poison The Well ghostwrote a Baroness album.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

Scaphism – “Disease-ridden death metal that more than occasionally projectile vomits the thrashy groove. I could wax pseudo-poetic about what these dudes sound like, or I could just tell you that they have a song called “Chainsawdomy” and that would give you a pretty good idea.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

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Prize The Doubt (Ohio) VS. The Sleer (Colorado)

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.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

The Sleer – “Feelings are for wimps, and The Sleer will gladly crush them into tiny bits for you with slow-burning, soul-burning Doom. It might take some time (around 40 minutes), and the process itself will be emotionally painful, but you’ll come out on the other end a cold, dead-eyed shell of a man. This is crushingly dark stuff.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

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Sylvia (Maine) VS. The Seduction (North Carolina)

Sylvia – “Sylvia offer varying speeds and tempos, accelerating to enable thunderous drum beats replete with furious guitar riffs that crush souls… before abruptly taking a foot off the gas to pummel you into submission with lurching, sinister breakdowns.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

The Seduction – “I’ve heard rumor that some of you flushers love Clutch. I’ve heard talk through the grapevine that some among you get your kicks with The Sword. Why, I’ve heard incendiary whispers that there are perhaps a smattering of readers that enjoy Motörhead. How lewd. On the band’s debut LPYou Catch Fire, The Seduction hit all of those sweet spots. Expect most tracks to punch you right in the hard rock/stoner Venn diagram erogenous zone.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

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