The Best Band in the United States is Sylvia

Who will it be?

The people have spoken, and they declared Sylvia to be the best unsigned band in the United States.

Way, way, way, way back when the Toilet ov Hell was in its infancy, we had a silly idea. We thought it would be fun to go through all 50 states and write about our favorite unsigned band from each place. It was a lot of damn work. We’ve burned thousands of man hours scouring the web, voting, writing about, and arguing over this collection of 50 geographically diverse bands. Then we handed the reigns to you.

In a no-holds-barred bracket of 50 bands, Sylvia came in unseeded and proceeded to destroy every band they competed against. This was not an easy path to victory. Sylvia went up against several early favorites in this competition. The Seduction, The Sleer, Existem, Destroy Judas, and Blackgate all looked like they could easily take the entire contest. In the end, you guys deemed Sylvia to be superior to all. Let’s take a look at the tally:

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 14-12-2014 20:22:33
end_date 04-10-2015 17:00:00
Poll Results:
Sylvia vs. Blackgate

Though I was POSITIVE Texas was the greatest state in the union, we now have conclusive proof. Sylvia is the best unsigned band in the US, and Maine is the best state in this nation. This decision is final and no appeals will be accepted. See you all in Portland! No, the other Portland. Lobster and dead Stephen King characters for everyone!


“Sylvia offer varying speeds and tempos, accelerating to enable thunderous drum beats replete with furious guitar riffs that crush souls… before abruptly taking a foot off the gas to pummel you into submission with lurching, sinister breakdowns.” (Read the full writeup)

Like Sylvia on Facebook and give them a meaty pat on the back. They earned it.

Schmitty: Maine’s state motto, ‘The Way Life Should Be’ sure sounds like the kind of meaningless self-promotion you’d find at a Fortune 500 boardroom in Anywhere, USA. Sylvia, however, have proven that this isn’t merely corporate jargon by riding a groundswell of grassroots support past hundreds of bands on their way to being crowned the undisputed Best Unsigned Band in the USA. Now that the Devil’s Toilet hath declared thee so, I’m sure the record deals, drug-and-groupie orgy party invitations and world tour offers will pour right on in. Congrats gents, you’ve ‘made it!’

Randall Thor: While I am saddened that our warriors fell on the final battlefield, I am thrilled that a power (thrash) band made it so far on a site that is typically not very receptive to power metal and related genres. Congratulations warriors, you did well. Congratulations to Sylvia and Blackgate for rallying their fans to visit our site and getting people excited about this contest!

CyBro: I’d like to write more about Sylvia but my face has been melted off. Congrats to both Sylvia and Blackgate for making it to the final round.

Check out the rest of the best bands in the United States:
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
Pennsylvania – Burden
Rhode Island – Eternal Khan
South Carolina – Solaire
South Dakota – Jelly Nutz Justoner

Tennessee – Forest of Tygers
Texas – Peasant
Utah – Disforia
Vermont – Vaporizer
Virginia – Grethor
Washington – Witch Ripper

West Virginia – Horseburner
Wisconsin – Arctic Sleep
Wyoming – Reproacher

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  • We all know that the Best Band in the United States is Dave Grohl.

  • Vote for Jeb

    I wonder if Joe has developed postpartum depression after giving birth to this huge baby?

    • I have no idea what to do with myself. I guess I’ll just write long-winded Andy Rooney rants about metal now.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        “Bands nowadays play too fast. They play too loud. There are too many notes, too many strings, too many everything! *close-up of wild, untamed eyebrow hair*”

    • Herr Schmitty

      Guarantee you he has a Tattered Uterus and an unholy C-Section scar.

      Side note, toss my new band Tattered Uterus a like on facebook, y’all!

      • Vote for Jeb

        But if he got a C-section, wouldn’t his uterus still be intact?

        • Herr Schmitty

          I’m picturing just a trail of destruction in the wake of this particularly large baby he done birthed. Every reproductive organ damaged.

  • Esta fue una victoria de la democracia, de la participación del pueblo. De ese pueblo oprimido por el imperialismo, por el capitalismo salvaje.

    Estas votaciones fueron una victoria del socialismo, la forma perfecta del gobierno.

    ¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

  • NefariousDude

    Still have not listened to any of these bands because I am a wretched pleb. Is autumns eyes still a thing??

    • well, do you like bands that are the best unsigned bands from states?

      • NefariousDude

        … I think so. I can’t be sure

        • hrm, best not to roll the dice. better stick with a known good act (ICP)

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            This is solid advice.

            PS: Gonna kill the mailman

          • NefariousDude

            ICP? Way too progressive for my tastes

      • KJM, Doom Hunter General

        Do you like thing?

    • Nice to see you around!

    • Still a thing, although they were creamed in the first round.

  • Sick drum cover of Morbid Angel’s Dominate.

  • Mvthvr Shvbvbv 8




    • CyberneticOrganism


  • JWEG

    This was satisfying yet somehow anticlimactic, but at least the results were never quite predictable and I found a bunch of bands to add to my buy-later queue.

  • Thanks to this competition I found: Artic Sleep, Witch Ripper, Disforia, Eternal Khan, The Seduction, Existem, Blackgate and Withering Light.

    Great job everyone! 🙂

    PD: Good luck to Joe, he developed an ulcer in the process of this column!

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    I just wish Witch Ripper were here.

  • McNulty: Is it too late to nominate a band?


      I vote McNulty and the Pancreatitises for best band

      • if only this sugar were as sweet as you

  • We definitely came across plenty of bands that were worthy of the title. Arctic Sleep, The Seduction, Elephant Rifle. Witch Ripper, Reproacher, HUSH are all worthy of the crown.

    But Bereave stands high above all.

    • Trump’s Brainfart Jock Strap

      Don’t forget Peach Blunt Smoke!

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    Waylon left Mushroomhead. I’m gonna cry. Also, I’m sorry for derailing the thread

    • Maik Beninton™

      I always thought of Waylon as a replacement for J Mann and now that he is back there is not much reason to keep him, what he does the others can do.

    • Trump’s Brainfart Jock Strap

      Waylon Jennings was in Mushroomhead?

      • Based Pingu

        He meant Waylon Smithers.

        • Trump’s Brainfart Jock Strap


      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        No. His name was Waylon Reavis.

  • Sometimes democracy can be a real bitch. Regardless, congrats to Sylvia!


    • The System Has Failed (Megadeth)

      • Would you believe me if I told you that is the only Megadeth album I own?


        • yes i would. just like you would believe that i do not like King Diamond (sorry KSoFM)

          • Apparently we both understand each other, ha.

          • let us celebrate our agreement with the adding of chocolate to milk

        • Trump’s Brainfart Jock Strap


  • KJM, Doom Hunter General

    #TeamNewEngland stands triumphant!!

  • MRW none of the bands I championed made it to the end

    • #teamposer

      it is ok bb


  • Just glad Arctic Sleep didn’t make it. I don’t know if I could have handled that.

  • to all those involved with the Best Unsigned Band competition: a thousand thanks for all your hard work and effort! i found a handful of wonderful, unsigned bands that might have went unnoticed otherwise… and it was fun! i hope some of the bands recognize your hard work too, as it provided some good exposure.

    • Trump’s Brainfart Jock Strap

      Indeed! Every one of us had a band we wanted to go home with the gold, which is saying a lot. Hopefully this leads to them getting to do this for a living, or at least getting signed with a solid label.

  • A huge HAIL to all the bands and people who put any amount of effort into this

    • Boss the Ross

      Hail and Kill!

  • Nine Inch Males
  • Waynecro

    Thanks for all the hard work on this, Joe & Co. I really enjoyed the contest and heard a lot of great bands I probably wouldn’t have discovered on my own. None of the bands I was really stoked on made it very far, which makes me wonder whether I’m some sort of jinx.

  • tigeraid

    BLACK GATE! NOOOOOOO! POWER METAL FOREVER!!!!!! **cries into tankard of mead**

  • Based Pingu


  • Trump’s Brainfart Jock Strap

    And I’m declaring the best unsigned band on Earth!
    I’m thinking of ordering their T-shirt, but gotta see how my budget is and will be. For those who like their shoegaze thick and reverbed like a motherfucker! This easily blows Deafheaven out of the water.

  • J.Morse

    Next SYLVIA gig @ Geno’s Rock Club in Portland on HALLOWEEN: