YOU Choose the Best Unsigned Band in the U.S: Round 2 pt. 3


The thrilling conclusion to Round 2! Today: Minnesota vs. Washington! Georgia vs. Nebraska! Arkansas vs. Michigan! Virginia vs. Louisiana! Tennessee vs. New York!

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. Noble Beast (MN), Witch Ripper (WA), Lost Hours (GA), Borealis (NE), Torii (AR), Blackgate (MI), Grethor (VA), Withering Light (LA), Forest of Tygers (TN), and HUSH (NY).


Noble Beast (Minnesota) VS. Witch Ripper (Washington)

Noble Beast – “While power metal for most us means putting on your finest mail coif and dragon riding pants and charging into all the battles, Noble Beast brings more to the table (though you still get to wear your mail coif and dragon pants). The music formula boils down to sweet thrash riffs + the catchiest choruses = success! As someone who hates math, I must admit that that is a formula I can back 100%.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)


*Witch Ripper – “Witch Ripper creates a perfect balance of traditional and modern doom, with lots of melody and nary a trace of corny 70’s worship. Their quick-and-dirty debut EP is just the hazy riffgasm you’ve been aching for – four songs equally suited for smoking a spliff in the comfort of your own home or blaring out of your best buddy’s car windows on an amphetamine-fueled midnight joyride.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

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Lost Hours (Georgia) VS. Borealis (Nebraska)

Lost Hours – “Our pick for the best unsigned band in Georgia may not be a greatly popular, as not everyone sees eye-to-eye on this drone-y, sludgy, drawn-out style. What we have here is pure aesthetic; there is no structure to latch on to, no chorus to anchor us, no hook to wrap around. All the listener is left with is a sense of the here and now. How will you respond when the mountain stares back? Do you brush it off, or do you sit back and ponder the consuming void?”
(Read the full writeup)

Borealis – “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.”
(Read the full writeup)

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Torii (Arkansas) VS. Blackgate (Michigan)

Torii – “Hailing from Rogers, Arkansas, Torii originally started out as an instrumental project by Bill Masino but has since added the vocals of Eric May to the mix, and boy does he deliver. May unleashes a swampy, throaty warble that sounds like Swamp Thing had decided to front Emperor. The music itself ain’t exactly a slouch, either. Imagine Neurosis filtered through some 90’s black metal and then sautéed in a little bit of death and you’re on the right track.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

Blackgate – “How often do you get to use the phrase “powerthrash”? Well, at least once thanks to the dudes in Blackgate. They combine some truly gnarly thrash riffs, vocals that soar like the endangered early 90’s version of the American Bald Eagle, and some infectious choruses to great effect. If you don’t find yourself grooving along or whipping out your best falsetto, there’s a solid chance you’re probably dead inside.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

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Grethor (Virginia) VS. Withering Light (Louisiana)

Grethor – “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.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

Withering Light – “I highly recommend throwing on some decent headphones or your speaker system for this release. Withering Light have a melodic sensibility that most bands simply cannot reach. The guitar lines sparkle and shine like the reflection of a lighthouse on an oil spill. Within these blasts and screams there is catharsis. Listen to “Lantern” and find yourself in the dark.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

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Forest of Tygers (Tennessee) VS. HUSH (New York)

Forest of Tygers – “For the voting committee, Forest of Tygers separated themselves from the pack with just how ferocious they are. They embrace a sparse, slightly lo-fi sound whose aesthetics border upon raw black metal, so you can’t help but hear every string pluck and drum thwap. There is nowhere to hide for either the performer or listener, so intimacy is inevitable. Forest of Tygers takes advantage of this intimacy to grapple with the listener, dragging us ever deeper into their world of shredding, blackened hardcore.”
(Read the full writeup)(Facebook)

HUSH – “What we have here is heft. Weight. Mass. This music is an anvil made of dark matter. HUSH. is doom that commands its space authoritatively, never wasting a precious second on anything that doesn’t push the music forward. The grimy, thick distortion of the guitars is made nearly impenetrable by the 8 string bass, while the rhythmic hammering of the drums and rage-fueled vocals pull it all together to form a slowly rolling, flaming boulder crushing anything and anyone in its path.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

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