The Best Band in Oregon is Drouth

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Back in August 2014 we asked you to help us find the best unsigned bands in America. After listening to hundreds of submissions and calling each other lots of names, we finally narrowed down our pick for the most lumbersexual state in the union. The best band in Oregon is Drouth.

In ages past, the land of Oregon was held in dominion by a mighty race of fierce and loyal wargs guided by the benevolent Shaman King, reigning from his metal throne in Portland. All was in balance. The brave warriors lived among the trees and tended to the needs of the Earth. Harvests were plentiful. Mead flowed. Beards were thick, and honor was law.

Then, a prophet from the South, wearing a deep v-neck with a Bad Moon emblazoned on the chest, arrived in Portland. Though he swore fealty to the Shaman King, he secretly set his black-framed-spectacled eyes on the metal throne. One day, when the king was at sup, carousing with his wargs after a glorious victory, the False Prophet slew the king, chortling with a smug self-indulgence that he was simply being ironic. It was then that the be-flanneled, false-chinned usurpers he had smuggled into the kingdom by way of fixed-gear carriages attacked the warg army. Though the valiant wargs fought ferociously, they ultimately succumbed to the overwhelming hoards of copy-cat individuals wielding ham-fisted gauntlets of irony. The False Prophet then established his kingdom of North Austin, reigning over the blasphemously rechristened Portlandia with an iron fist of pretense. He established control of his kingdom, and his craven servitors to this day grow beards to hide their weak chins and to fool the true into inaction.

But the usurper’s terrible reign would only last for a time and half a time. The surviving wargs had fled to the underground dungeons and secret fortresses in the neighboring kingdom of Washington, and on the blackest night, several wargs in the shape of ravenous wolves slunk into the throne room and slew the false emperor where he sat in languid repose. A great blow was struck that day for the Shaman King’s metal hoards, but the battle rages to this day. Courageous wargs carry on the traditions of the elders in secret whilst waging secret campaigns from the shrouded depths of obscurity.

Chiesfst amongst these champions of truth and justice are Drouth, a band of four black metal magicians from the dark underbelly of Portland. These five skinwalkers use cunning and guile to confuse their enemies before devouring them alive to quench their insatiable thirst for the blood of the false. Each warrior has spent a lifetime honing his skills for use with a particular instrument of war: the guitars are as sharp and barbarous as a flayer’s knife, severing enemies limb from limb; the rhythm section pummels with the discipline of the tightest d-beat unit, reducing enemies’ bones to powder; and the lupine shrieks instill the night itself with terror, creating panic and disarray. Though each members is himself a force of fury, together they weave, long, grueling, arcane spells that decimate all opposition and enchant even the most cowardly to rally to their side. The band has established its firm might and mystic dominance through a campaign spanning multiple albums, but the blood-letting will never cease until the heretics are cast from the kingdom.

You may find Drouth’s names writ in the glorious Book of Loyal Faces, and you may find their arcane paeans being sung at the Camp of Bands. But this is only one version of the tale, so hark what my fellow bards have to say:

Dagon: I would have never thought Drouth was an unsigned band had I listened to them by chance. These guys write music like they’ve been together for decades, with undeniable chemistry and character. It seems like they take the best elements of my favorite metal bands and combine them into their own blend of groovy, melodic black metal that includes searing guitar leads and absolutely horrendous shrieked vocals. Oh, the drumming is also out of this world. Around the 6:30 mark of “Vast, Loathsome” I had to put on a c-collar to prevent my spine from snapping. This is the real deal.

Simon Phoenix: Oregon; end destination of one of the world’s most famous natural trails, and one of the four major growers of hazelnuts in the world. Apparently it also houses some kickass metal. Portland black metal foursome Drouth may not carry the experience or pedigree of their neighbors, the almighty Agalloch. But they share a penchant to make vast and powerful metal rife with atmosphere, melody, and emotion. Drouth come a little more aggressive than Agalloch though, and have a tasteful dose of groove in their tremolo filled pallet that makes them stand head and shoulders above many of their Cascadian brethren. They may not be big yet, but they damn well should be.

Other Valiant Warriors:

Dolven: Medieval doom.

Attic: Weird death forever.


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
Minnesota – Noble Beast
Mississippi – Jared Moran (Yzordderrex/Uzumaki)
Missouri – Existem
Montana – Martriden
Nebraska – Borealis
Nevada – Elephant Rifle
New Hampshire – Eerie
New Jersey – Black Table
New Mexico – Void Ritual
New York – HUSH.
North Carolina – The Seduction
North Dakota – Gorgatron
Oklahoma- Cottonmouth
Ohio – Prize the Doubt

(Photo VIA)

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