The Best Band in Arkansas is Torii

Who will it be?

My best friend used to live in Arkansas. His older brother took his Driver’s Ed courses there, and it is honestly a miracle that dude can drive. Why? Well, apparently at his driving school they were teaching all of the students that if a train is coming down the tracks, you should always try to beat it, because you’re in a car goddammit, and cars go fast! Although Arkansas is failing to inform young citizens that trains are the bears of the transportation world and are never to be trifled with, they’re at least succeeding in delivering some killer blackened post sludge goodness with our selection for the best unsigned band in Arkansas: 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. It lulls you in with somber acoustics and then slowly but surely pummels you like wave after wave in a sea of turmoil.

Their latest, “Elabrynth”, was released this past July and is truly a hell of a ride. Check it out below:


Now, if for some reason you find yourself distrusting the opinion of a mustachioed bear: 1) Reprioritize your life, 2) Lucky for you, our panel of experts are here to help you out!

Guacamole Jim: “In a scene dominated by bands all attempting to sound as unhappy as possible, it’s rare to come across anyone who comes across as genuine; Torii manages to do just that. The atmosphere they create is bleak and depressing, in an engaging and powerful way. Their use of repetition and droning only engages the listener more where other bands would have been unable to sustain interest. Intermittent blast beats come as a surprise, giving them power they wouldn’t have otherwise. A captivating listen.”

Masterlord SteelDragon: “One of the keys to crafting good, non-boring post-anything is the ability to capture and control that undefinable feeling-thing so characteristic of the genre. It’s like a poignant mix of despair, longing, mild indigestion, and a weird nostalgia that’s not really attached to anything in particular. Whatever it is, Torii has that shit in a jar and they know exactly how to use it.”

YourLogicIsFlushed: “I am in a city that has just learned of its imminent demise. No one has quite come to terms with it, despite the flaming ball of destructing hurling towards us. I am sitting alone inside, watching the chaos of no consequence.  Torii is the background music of this brutal scene. I particularly love the post-metal aspects of their billowing and intense sound.”

Are you convinced yet? Go show these dudes some love and like them on Facebook.



Apothecary: Death-doom-ish with a nice surprise. As Christian Molenaar put it: “I’m legally obligated to vote for anything with Demilich vocals.” Check them here

Auric: Loud post-sludge-black-doom-etc. with a really, really, really pissed off vocalist. Blow out your eardrums.

Ilmasai: Noisy breakneck metal recorded on an Env3. Break yo neck.

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 some 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

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  • …and i thought only grass lived in Arkansas

  • NefariousDude

    Say Arkansas and Kansas out loud to yourself. Look at the spellings, hear the pronunciations. Something fishy is going on here

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      Don’t worry, I am sure zzzzzzzzzzzzzz is on to it.

      • Paris Hilton

        Arkansas is 2 letters away from Kansas.

        AR= Axl Rosenberg


        • YourLogicIsFlushed

          arkanSAS — kanSAS — texSAS

          SAS —— Secret Army of Sudan

          Sudan=Africa Obama=Africa


          • Stockhausen

            Kansas / ARkansas

            KansasAR / Kansas



            Our Kansas, SARS

            IT’S SO OBVIOUS

          • Paris Hilton

            Put the pieces together from all of our research together. Axl Rosenberg and Obama are members of the Secret Army of Sudan; who are spreading SARS via chemtrails to the masses so that they can push Obamacare and medicinal marijuana to keep us docile. They have more liberal tricks up their sleeve I’m sure, be alert!!!

          • there’s only one solution: COAL ROLL those libtards!!!

          • hiccup


        • Simon Phoenix

          Rosenberg is exactly 3 syllables.

          HALF-LIFE 3 CONFIRMED!!!

      • crazytaco_12

        Only if Howard Dean says it

    • JWG

      It’s still not as awkward as Canadian place names.

      We’re not only externally inconsistent, there are cases where a *single* place name has multiple pronunciations.

      • Paris Hilton

        I blame Quebec.

        • Edward Meehan




        • JWG

          The oddest British Columbia one is, to my mind, “Tsawwassen”

          Alternately: /təˈwɑːsən/, [səˈwɑːsən], [tsəˈwɑːsən].

          All of which approximate the North Straits Salish name, but none of which get it right (because the difference is in the last syllable which they all share, not the first where they differ).


          Bonhomme is pretty rad though. Kicks santa right in the balls for the fun factor. Don’t know what the goose stepping with harper is all about though ???………..

    • Tyree
      • Howard Dean

        I fucking love Joe Dirt.

        • CyberneticOrganism

          It’s pronounced “deer-TAY”

      • Xan

        I watched the full video of this and was very pleased.

        • yay Xan!
          “why are you in my kid’s room?”
          “i’m trying to teach your fucking kid about the universe”
          …or something to that effect. okay i need to rewatch it now 🙂

    • As a lifetime inhabitant of Kansas, I can confirm.

      • so how about that local sports team? i heard they beat the Aways recently…

    • CyberneticOrganism


  • JWG

    Since it’s a while before we get there, I thought I’d ask now:

    – Did you get any submissions in the end for Hawaii, or was it all generated from Site Comments (if at all)?
    – Likewise, were there any submissions for Tennessee other than the ones I found?

    • We had to go hunting for Hawaii bands. We ended up with 5 bands in contention for TN. I can’t remember exactly which ones you submitted but they should be there.

      • JWG

        I am sure I’ll be pleasantly surprised by whatever the result (especially if it is higher calibre than any of my own picks).

        …On a side note since you’ve got the Raw Data: which State had the most submissions, and does that correlate at all to relative population size?

        • It’s interesting that you ask that question. I was looking for trends in population but I was surprised. California, Indiana, and Wisconsin had by far the largest number of entries. California, of course, has a massive population and a thriving music scene but similar states (NY, Texas, Florida) came up way short with the number of quality entries.

          • Edward Meehan

            Of those three I am surprised about NY.

          • CA, TX, NY, and FL are the four most populous states. I was expecting big things from them all. Ultimately, for the purposes of this competition at least, a state only needs one good-ass band to be declared the best in the nation.

          • Simon Phoenix

            Same here. Even the band I submitted doesn’t seem to be on the list.

          • hmu. might have been a mistake.

      • Cock ov Steele

        I thought the only music in Hawaii was slack key and reggae (courtesy of the Haole brahs)

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Hawaii is far too chill to be into metal. Seriously, you just can’t get mad out there… well unless they fuck up your flight details or move so goddamned slowly compared to the mainland cities that you just want to choke someone with a poisoned spam musubi

  • Stockhausen

    Killer write up Leif. I trust you, and furthermore, I trust your mustache.

    • Tyree

      Mustache fart.

  • Ignatius the Wizened

    The peals of wrath hammer in the hollows of the innocent, a child’s fury in handclaps; a highway, the shoulder falls beyond barrier to the blood-clay of our mind(s), silent.

  • is it me or is Arkansas pumping out a shit load of this doomy stuff. Also agree with Christian.

  • Howard Dean
    • Tyree

      Yes! So fucking heavy!

      • Howard Dean

        I love this live footage. It’s heavier than on the record. Slays.

        • Tyree

          The guitar tone and the drums are sound so punishing on this.

  • RustyShackleford

    Downloaded. Loving this series of articles boys! Yep!

  • IronLawnmower

    Used to be a girl at my school called Tori Black. I feel for people who share names with pornstars.

    • Renan Ribeiro

      At least Tori Black wasn’t a thing back then… or was she?

      • IronLawnmower

        She was. I’m still in school but the girl left last year for tech.

        • Renan Ribeiro

          Damn that must have been hardcore for her. Was she good looking? I guess that would make things even worse

          • IronLawnmower

            She was fucking smashing. Also kind of a slut. Wonder how she’s doing at the tech actually.

          • Renan Ribeiro

            I’d urge to check out – this is the time to collect life stories

          • IronLawnmower

            Looking at her FB. She has a boy and got even gooder looking.

    • Scrimm

      I’d like to feel Tori Black.

    • crazytaco_12

      There was a dude who worked at my school named Dick Long. I’d be fascinated to learn his backstory haha

  • Renan Ribeiro

    That feeling Masterlord described is usually what makes me gravitate towards some of my favorite metal bands.

    One of Brazil’s biggest rock bands (probably categorized as post-punk) has a song in which they say – this is a rough translation – “only you have the cure for my addiction of missing everything I haven’t seen yet”. It reminds me a great deal of this feeling.

  • J.R.

    Hoooooo man. I hope this study room is soundproof bc I’m about to anger a lot of people with the volume I’m about to blast his. Thank you Toilet for such unflushable treasures.

  • crazytaco_12

    No joke, my brother got his license when he went down to Texas and had to renew his permit, to where they just gave him a license (he failed the driving test in Washington like 4 times).

  • Renan Ribeiro

    This track was awesome and holy shit those were some bleak lyrics

  • Adam Ferrier

    Yo, thanks for the shout out!

  • Eric May

    We’re now working on new material. The third disc is going to be ridiculously frantic. The more I hear about this Tori Black, the more I want to incorporate her into the lyrics somehow. It’s an admittedly odd name which actually refers to a temple of peace. But I guess it’s kind of funny to say that I write and perform in a crazy little bitch named Torii.

    Arkansas transplant, originally from DE.