The Best Band in Missouri is Existem

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Back in August we asked you to help us find the best unsigned bands in America. After listening to hundreds of submissions, we finally narrowed down our pick for the geriatric entertainment destination-est state in the union*. The best band in Missouri is Existem.

*Lower Midwest division

Existem. There’s a band name I haven’t heard in a while. Quite frankly, I’m shocked that these guys aren’t signed yet. I thoroughly enjoyed their 2012 album Years of Winter and just assumed they were picked up by Century Media or Relapse or something. But here they are, still unsigned (why?) with a 4 song record that for me came out of nowhere titled Phoenix. And guess what, I enjoyed it just as much as their previous effort (and not just because they had the insight to name an album after yours truly).

I don’t care much for tech death and I absolutely despise prog metal. I would rather listen to another one of Raymond Cocteau’s speeches about the purity of goddamn pearls than listen to bands like Dream Theater. In my opinion the best so-called prog bands are ones that don’t go fully prog. Think Opeth in their heyday, Burst, Cult of Luna, Extol, and so forth. Existem are very much in the vein of these bands. They create prog metal that isn’t afraid to veer off the beaten path but exists within the confine of a song. The material here is not an overblown jam session like so many bands are guilty of recording.

Their riffs are meaty, the drumming is tight and well executed, and the clean singing while understated, is still quite good and works with the song instead of trying to overpower everything like certain other prog singers *coughspencersoletocough*.

Phoenix’s third track “Memento Mori” perfectly summarizes everything about this band that works: good songwriting, tasty solos, a nice little jazzy passage with a frigging violin playing alongside the equally nice bass work. It does what it needs to do at 6+ minutes and doesn’t overstay its welcome. I’m hoping that a quality label picks Existem up soon, but in the meantime take some interest in unsigned prog metal that even I can get behind. Go to their Bandcamp page and pick up Phoenix; and while you’re at it pick up their other albums too.

Guacamole Jim: Tight and intricate, Existem combines the best of downtuned lockstep riffs with soaring cleans and atmosphere, all while retaining an undeniable progressive vibe. The singer’s work on “Closed Eyes” is the high point of the song, reminiscent of Scar Symmetry and other quality melodic death metal. A very enjoyable listen, if not overwhelmingly original.

MoshOff: Existem have generated quite a buzz in the underground, and after listening to them it’s no real surprise why. They manage to seamlessly mix clean vocals, borderline death metal segments, djentish syncopated rhythms and atmospheric instrumental passages to create something that doesn’t come across as either trendy or forced. Progressive metal that doesn’t suck, period.

Joe Thrashnkill: If you’ve got 10 minutes of spare time, I highly recommend you vibe out and stuff your time hole with “Above or Below”.

Go like Existem on Facebook and tell ’em the Toilet says “hey”.


HONORABLE MENTION:

Black Fast (Kansas City, MO) – Super fun, thrashy band that went and got signed to eOne in the middle of this contest.


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 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
Arkansas – Torii
California – Destroy Judas
Colorado – The Sleer
Connecticut – Autumn’s Eyes
Delaware – Sloss
Florida – Capracide
Georgia – Lost Hours
Hawaii – Darkest Path
Idaho – Rotten Hand
Illinois – Deus Ex
Indiana – Thorr-Axe
Iowa – Blizzard at Sea
Kansas – Bummer
Kentucky – Ad Infinitum
Louisiana – Withering Light
Maine – Sylvia
Maryland – Bereave
Massachusetts – Scaphism
Michigan – Blackgate
Mississippi – Jared Moran (Yzordderrex/Uzumaki)

  • Dagon

    You know what’s also good?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMKlPY-EXRM

    • Nordling Writes ov USBM

      Never really got this. Rhough logically I should have.

    • Simon “Djentcrusher” Phoenix

      Not to sound like a sexist prick, but while these ladies are quite good, Brazil has a ton of modern thrash bands that are better than them.

      • Dagon

        Gimme names. I’m in a major thrash mood today.

        • Simon “Djentcrusher” Phoenix

          Violator, Farscape, Bywar. Start with those three.

          I’m especially fond of Farscape as they seemed to modeled their entire sound after Coma of Souls l.

          • Dagon

            I’ve jammed Violator but not the other two. Thanks, brolo.

  • SWOLEBEARD

    Dis pretty good, but I liked black fast a bit better

    • Douchebags went and got themselves signed.

      • Lacertilian

        I know right, it’s not like they have to eat or anything, going by their band name and all.

  • Tyreeling In The Years
  • Reposted Avenged Sevenfold Fan

    thats is so cool i’m a fan of this band but not a freak like others who alwats menchine them my fucture is to start a band but i won’t menchine the name cuz u might jack it so u will see me doing guitar up on the stage and say oh i know her she is 1 of my friends

    -G@bby, 10/31/2007

  • Dagon

    I liked Phonix better than Years of Winter. The riffs are catchier.

    • Reposted Avenged Sevenfold Fan

      This band Deserves to be behind the beatles but above thirty seconds to mars and linkin Park

      -cowboyskid2, 3 hours ago

      • Dagon

        Yes, they are tied for second place with Five Finger Death Punch just like The Beatles are tied first with Molejo.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYWgGwOL74k

        • Tyreeling In The Years

          I’m jammin this man.

          • Dagon

            It’s a whole genre, bro. I can hook you up with more, lol.

      • KJM
        • Tyreeling In The Years

          What is this from? It looks familiar.

          • KJM

            Drag Me To Hell, a movie I hated.

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            Aw, same.

          • Jajajaja!! that movie was very bad..

          • KJM

            I watched this with my ex. We were both practically screaming “Will someone drag this bitch to Hell already and save us?!”.

          • Tyreeling In The Years
          • Scrimm

            I must say I am slightly interested in that remake.

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            I’ve heard about that for years now. What the fuck is going on with it?

          • Scrimm

            Clive Barker himself is writing it, no word on a director or if Doug Bradley is returning as Pinhead, but Barker pretty much said he told them he would only be involved if Bradley was, so we’ll see.

          • KJM

            You know it.

          • Based Tapir

            One of the few horror movies I’ve seen. I wasn’t even sp00ked by it, and I’m sp00ked really easily. ‘Twas a bad movie.

          • Scrimm

            That is NOT a horror movie, that is a slap in the face to the genre.

          • KJM

            And from Sam Raimi of all people.

          • Scrimm

            I have a lot of issues with Raimi. In my opinion his career was made by Bruce Campbell.

          • KJM

            Agreed, I love the Evil Dead movies.

          • FeelTheDarknesses

            Me and my friends used to drop acid and watch Evil Dead 2 over and over until we came down.

          • KJM

            I watched The Exorcist a few times while tripping balls.

          • Simon “Djentcrusher” Phoenix

            I take it you didn’t care for the Evil Dead remake either (I know it wasn’t directed by him but he gave the okay I believe.)?

          • Tyreeling In The Years

            Yup, that’s a fun gory time. So brutal.

          • Scrimm

            Actually I really enjoyed it, Not perfect but high on the list of remakes for me. Yes him and Campbell produced it

          • KJM

            Maybe I should see it at some point.

          • Scrimm

            I thought it was a smart move to not have the Ash character rather than trying to replace him with another actor. there’s one nagging thing that bothered me but I won’t gove it away. Bottom line it is a brutal good time, probably one of the goriest wide release movies you will see, and with almost all practical effects to boot. you could do a whole lot worse.

          • that movie is great! but i want to know what bothered you!! IM it to me

          • Scrimm

            Done.

          • The entire concept was like when some of your bad spoken friends try to be funny and fail miserably making a bad joke at expense of other, and when he tells the joke everyone is silent and awkard until someone said: “you’re my friend, but we want you silent because you svck”

          • KJM

            Yep. For Horror to work you you need at least one character you can sympathize with. There wasn’t a single sympathetic character in that movie besides the cat.

          • you know that you will lose your time watching a movie when a cat is the most known reference of it 😛

          • SWOLEBEARD

            I always sympathize with the cat.

          • ooooh i loved it. good Sam Raimi materials

          • CyberneticOrganism

            Aww man I thought it was great. Raimi >>>>>>>>>>

  • What? Please. I’VE HEARD OF THIS BAND BEFORE! YOU GUYS AREN’T EVEN TRYING!

  • Nordling Writes ov USBM

    Good.

    • Tyreeling In The Years

      Burger.

    • VVayne Brady

      I had a feeling this would tickle your pickle. I’m in a post/sludge kinda mood today, and Izah is caressing me gently and longingly.

      • Based Tapir

        Yeeeeeh, I’m really digging Izah

      • Nordling Writes ov USBM

        Streamed the Izah once, ‘Twas very nice.

  • KJM

    Wow, I’m honestly surprised this band isn’t signed.

    • They sound very professional. Didn’t liked too much their first track. But they deserve it!

      • KJM

        It’s not my thing either, but it’s very well done.

        • I don’t see myself replaying it so much, but the memento mori song was the best, in my opinion. They’re very competent and have certain hooks in their songwriting. I deserve the best to them.

    • ParallaxativeHyperStool

      I love them so much. Phoenix was one of my favorite albums a couple of years ago and I still blast that shit and sing every word, and I’d always look at their FB with like 600 likes and be like, what the shit? Also they posted a link to this on their page which is really cool, they’re super nice and humble guys and they deserve a lot more credit. Hopefully they’ll get more recognition after this. Also I’m being reminded why I spend more time on the facebook page than on the actual blog when I have to scroll past 2 hilarious joke posts with a string of picture responses before I get to some actual discussion…

  • Second band I’ve submitted that’s made the top band in their state. Feelsgoodman.jpeg

    • What’s the deal with Kansas City? It seems like it’s cheating that it takes up two states.

      • But we also have to explain to everyone that it’s in two states, which almost makes up for the cheating. Also, I know the bassist from Existem, he’s a really nice and friendly gentleman. I hope this band does big things. They’re also GREAT live.

    • JDubs, G-Bro

      I still have a long wait to see if any of my TN (and WA) submissions will make the cut…

    • ParallaxativeHyperStool

      You chose wisely.

  • tertius_decimus

    Excellent music, love every bit of it. Production-wise this shit is awesome as well: bass is audible, guitar tone isn’t all over the place, vocal is where it has to be, drum sound has proper 3-D effect. A pleasure to my hearing.

  • SWOLEBEARD
    • more beer

      It`s snowing like crazy here. That will not stop me from seeing Napalm Death tonight!

      • SWOLEBEARD

        I just hope it stops me from working tomorrow.

        • more beer

          I know i wont be working tomorrow!

          • SWOLEBEARD

            +1. Can’t put in a car windshield in the snow.

          • XBILEBEARDX

            Starting to pack up. Dis why I read books. You NEasterners been stealing this all year. Now, I got to worry about how i’m gonna eat this brilliant lasagna for 2 days. I’m changing my name.

          • more beer

            I can’t wash windows or powerwash in the snow either. I’m gonna get stoned all day!

  • ALL the best things come from Missouri:
    … toasted ravioli … St. Louis style pizza
    guess that’s all.

    • SWOLEBEARD

      Missouri is one of those states I forget exists.

    • Lacertilian

      McNulty!

  • Tina…The Brutal Fey

    Great band. Above or Below was the highlight for me.

    Listening to Years of Winter now, and it’s got some monster tunes as well.

    • ParallaxativeHyperStool

      I remember listening to Above or Below at work once which is dangerous. Exploding out of your chair going A haaaand reaches from below…ONE FROOOM THE CLOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDS and airdrumming furiously doesn’t make as much sense to people that can’t hear what’s in your headphones.

  • The Satan Ov Hell

    Well the best band in Wyoming is Ea.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYg1pwSB5xw

  • Lacertilian

    I can tolerate the few parts that are not in my wheelhouse because the rest is damn tight.
    Lucky for the rest of the states Black Fast got signed.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    tribute to missouri—-
    (all 3 at once–all muted -except third vidfull vol
    http://youtu.be/-5OteVk1Qcs

    http://youtu.be/nvtaAYJ-Hl8

    http://youtu.be/aRwhkBAeheM

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    Thumbs up for Existem, been on my radar for over a year now. I really should fork over some money and fully integrate them into the collection.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Love the guitar tones here, fantastic mix