The Best Band in Pennsylvania is Burden


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 Yinzer state. The best band in Pennsylvania is Burden.

Ah, good old Pennsylvania. From cheesesteak to gorgeous forests, from the Amish to hard crack cocaine, PA is a state to behold and take in. Especially the thing that has haunted my dreams since time was time:


In recent years several bands have emerged from the dense cornfields of my beloved state and risen to respectful positions within the metalsphere; Vektor (kinda), Black Crown Initiate and Rivers of Nihil come to mind. With such titans to stand up to, unsigned bands need to step up their games to get noticed; enter Philthydelphia’s best Progressive Blackened Melodic Death/Doom quartet.

Burden play an acoustic-laced brand of slow-cooked black/death metal that is reminiscent of a much doomier and more dissonant My Arms-era Opeth, albeit with a bit more variety. The vocals play a major role in this, sometimes changing between more high-pitched screams, borderline quasi-Devin Townsend-esque hardcore shouts and deep, bellowing growls. Apparently only one Mr. Travis Weinand handles all bass and vocal duties, and man does he have the pipes to be running a protection racket. Not to say that the other members are slacking though: the guitars and drums work in tandem to mercilessly crush eardrums and separately to help bring the keyboard-soaked melodic passages to the next level. Lead work is sparse, but done tastefully and with just enough technical flare. What I’m saying is, don’t be a fool: visit their bandcamp for some more sweet tuneage and give them a like on the book of faces if you feel so inclined, which you totally should.

Here’s what other inquiring minds have to say:

HessianHunter: The monk chanting at the beginning of track 3 is what pushed this band over the top for me. What a killer vocalist they have. Also, if the lightning flash guitarmonies atop the thunderous bass of the penultimate movement to track 2 don’t do anything for you, I have a you-sized toilet and I’d sure like to help you investigate its plumbing.

W: Burden’s music may strip you of hope, sight, fear, time, and voice, but it will certainly leave you satisfied.

Honorable mentions:

Ys: Tasty black metal, possible video game-influenced band name.

Lady Beast: Wicked old-school lady-fronted metal.

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
Ohio – Prize the Doubt
Oklahoma – Cottonmouth
Oregon – Drouth

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  • Mon*Star

    Cheers to giving Lady Beast an honorable mention. I had hoped that their new album would be available by the time Pennsylvania was posted, but alas… I spoke with lead singer Deb this weekend and pushed her to get it on bandcamp. CD’s should be available this week sometime. If you like the first album, this one should be immensely better.

    Also kinda shocked that Derketa didn’t get a mention!

  • Damn, the lead melodies on the first track are awesome. This is something I wish bands would take more seriously. This is great!


  • This is another great adition to the contest.

    I also recommend Lady Beast for more traditional riffage. Good stuff.

  • Tyree

    Did Labyrinthine make the list? Just curious, becouse James Lipczynski rules and needs some recognition, and a label to pick his project. He’s also in Crypt Sermon.

    • They were in the running. There were a bunch of really good bands on the ballot. My pick was Casket.

      • Tyree

        PA. has some good shit. Philadelphia especially. I’d really like to find a job out there and move there. Such a great scene out there, it’s incredible.

        • I don’t know anything about PA but it seems like there would be a fuckton more opportunities for a designer in Philadelphia than Happy Valley. Scope it out!

        • CT-12

          Yeah dude, and hopefully there’s a fucking record store out there for you to go to

    • Tyree

      This album is on Bandcamp for “Name your price” too.

    • Lacertilian

      Been cranking this one all week. So fucking good.

  • Tyree

    Ys is interesting. Odd that a vocalist from The Faceless would go on to do some atmospheric black metal project. Not bad, maybe I’ll give it a chance here.

  • Guacamole Jim

    Very cool! The vocalist rips. Good variety between tracks, and I dig the low-gain style distortion.

  • SCAB got robbed

    • Howard Dean
      • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        gore–priviledged money/combined with lower than average intelligence
        an ultimate beta/loser—who was spanked on a basic human level—by a person who stole his undeserved presidential dream—illegally
        yet he still gave it away—-to an obvious criminal
        a good example of someone who kissed ass in school/and the system—but was similar to a downs syndrome patient—when it came to actual human relations/activities

        so (as in this picture)–he reveals what his true talents are–(committing unnatural “acts” on superior men)—as he accidentally opens his mouth–and gets in “the position”—during his stressful govt activities

        • Oh yeah, almost forgot. My mom says “Hi”!


          • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

            the whole world knows that al gore/George lynch’s mom–does that

          • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

            sorry George—-that was too easy

            i’m sure your mom is actually a real nice/respectable lady—and an inspiring herpes survivor

        • Howard Dean

          This just in! Al Gore fellates his superiors! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz has proof! Says it was Gore who actually wore the famous blue dress for Bill, not Monica!

          • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

            mossad agents (u.n. agenda”employees”) caught with bombs and fake Pakistanis passports attacking the Mexican congress building—
            stopped in the act—reported worldwide–and then censored on all u.n, controlled media—-
            unbeatable smoking gun–proving false flag attacks during 911/anthrax attacks—to stir up war against the Mideast—

        • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

          Shit, one third of An Inconvenient Truth was him griping and whining about losing the election. The other 2/3 was dubious ‘facts’. He also never takes questions from the audience when he does speeches.

          • Mother Shabubu III 12 BRICKS

            I love how the Inconvenient Truth avoids the real inconvenient truth; a human population that needs to be drastically reduced in numbers in order to prevent a long-lasting, severe impact to the global ecosystem.

            There’s too many men! Too many people making too many problems! And there’s not much left to go around. Can’t you see this is the Land of Confussion? (Incoherent monkey noises)

        • Kevin Nash & Friends

          Hey, long time fan. What are your opinions on other issues like FIFA, specifically Sepp Blatter?

          • clintons helped fund United Passions:

          • I back this, because the president of the Venezuelan Football Asociation was involved!

            Yay for Venezuelan corruption!

          • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

            I don’t really know anything about it—but I looked it up on Wikipedia–and it seems like a false flag situation–to attack the head of world soccer—to install more controllable type libtard douchebags

    • Kevin Nash & Friends

      I sense there is a conspiracy against Scab. I’m going to turn this over to the Conspiracy Specialist Ron Killings aka R-Truth to assert his belief in this conspiracy against Scab.

      • KJM

        It was Little Jimmy the whole time.

      • don’t you think that zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz would be a more appropriate truther?

        • Kevin Nash & Friends

          Good point.

    • I think you mean SCAB got ripped off.

      See what I did there?


  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    this music–is in every way superior—to the controlled radio msm—which has forced itself into stagnation–and repeated pantera worship/psychosis
    (all 3 at once–1st vid mute–2nd vid full vol—3rd vid full vol)


  • Pagliacci is Kvlt O)))

    Meh. I probably would have gone with Haethen.

  • This is very jammy, do like. Love this whole series, it’s been so much fun to listen to all the great stuff that few people know about. Thanks for the write-up, Moshi!

  • If Ys is indeed named after the vidya game series, I can only conclude that the founder was a NNNNEEEEEERRRRRRRDDDDDD.

    • KJU’s Dancing Pubic Hairs

      Agh, I played one of the Ys games on SNES, and absolutely hated it.

      • Phoenix of the House Tendies

        I have to assume it was the SNES port of Ys 3.

        PC-ENGINE version or GTFO.

  • Disgustache

    I’m a swirling mix of confusion right now. So heavy. So brootal. Pretty good. I feel like I’m meek and worthless. I’m being crushed. But I like it?

  • tertius_decimus

    I love how variable their compositions are. Definitely there’s alot to listen to. Great music!

    • tertius_decimus

      I am hooked.