Back in August we asked you to help us find the best unsigned bands in America. After listening to hundreds of submissions, we’ve finally narrowed down our pick for the most golden state in this grand nation. Today, we proudly present our pick for the best unsigned band in California: Destroy Judas.
A traveler, clad in all black. He has walked across a great distance, through grassy fields, rugged woods, and industrial wastelands among other places. Behind him he drags a large black coffin. No one knows what horrible content it contains. Finally after so much walking he reaches a desolate beach. With a great agonizing heave he pushes the coffin into the water. It floats outwards into the ocean and out of existence. The traveler then sits. He has walked so far and is so very tired. He sits and stares at the vast open waters until the sun sets and the pale moon dominates the sky, and then he too fades out of existence.
This is the visual manifestation that comes to mind when listening to Long Beach quintet 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?). Their four track full length “Wake”, came out three years ago, but they are still playing shows and I can only imagine they have honed their sonic butchery even further. I can’t wait for new material from these guys. In the meantime, bask in the magnificence of their sound with “To The Sea”.
Here’s what our judges had to say:
Leif Bearikson: It takes a special kind of crushingly bleak doom to make the beach sound uninviting, but lo, Destroy Judas have done just that. The seagulls at the beginning seem to be beckoning for your end, but once you wrap your ears around these dark and tasty jams you will welcome it.
Joe Thrashnkill: Do you have any idea how many good bands there are in California? It’s a damn embarrassment of riches. Just take a listen to the beach samples blown away by sonic bombast in “To The Sea” and see why Destroy Judas earned the top spot.
W.: Post metal can be hit or miss, but these guys avoid so many pitfalls through strong songwriting, inviting you on a journey of soulful introspection.
Badr Vogu (Oakland, CA)
Doom-y and sludge-y and vicious. Your editors are a little obsessed with their split with Wilt. Check it on Bandcamp.
Vulgar Trade (San Francisco, CA)
Vulgar Trade play a unique brand of angular hardcore that leans more cerebral than pit-bro. Jam them on Bandcamp and look for new material soon.
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.
Alabama — Phylum