The Best Band in Pennsylvania is Burden

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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 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:

ram5BURN. JUST, FIRE.

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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