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.
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.