The Best Band in Virginia is Grethor

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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 coming up with clever puns for each one of them, we finally narrowed down our pick for the “Mother of Presidents” state. The best band in Virginia is Grethor.

Ah, Virginia, the Old Dominion, birthplace of politicians. It is a land where greed and corruption run as deep as the roots of the ancient trees in the Shenandoah Valley. It is a state where tradition and tyranny are points of pride, evinced by the persistence of the single oldest law-making body in the New World and the headquarters of multiple Federal law-enforcement agencies. Is it any wonder then that such musty, old-world confines would birth something rank and subversive?

Enter Grethor, a black metal ensemble steeped in the lore of mythical underworlds and eldritch horror and dedicated to the craft of upending tradition. Cloaked in Decay is a singular statement of intent, its purpose focused on spreading the disease that gnaws greedily away at the status quo in the dark. Its songs, byzantine. Its instrumental performance, tight where they need to be, loose when necessary, and oddly melodic as fits. Its vocals, grating, in the best sense of the word. Its composition, exacting, surprising, and unconventional. Its pace, slow and pensive before erupting into full-fledged blasting blasphemy. Its artwork and composition, perfectly suiting for the music. This is an excellent performance by a professional young band dedicated to taking the path less traveled through the yellowing, rotting wood, leaving devastation in its wake.

You can pick up Cloaked in Decay for cheap at Bandcamp and take the diseased path yourself, but perhaps you should heed the words of the other critics before you do.

Cybernetic Organism: “Wander outside on a cold, rainy day. Head toward the nearest forest. Now jump face-first into a mud puddle, cover yourself with soil & loose gravel and make a ramshackle cloak out of tree branches, dead leaves and carrion. Punch yourself in the head a few times. Now wander back toward civilization, bug out your eyes and scream at everyone around you with a blend of hate, bewilderment and medieval doomsayer lunacy. Congratulations, you have now approximated listening to Grethor’s unique blend of blackened dissonance and deathly filthiness, with just the right amount of tortured banshee vocalization to complement their vision of horror.”

Stockhausen: “Is Grethor black metal? Yes. Did I know what to expect when I clicked play? I sorta hoped for less flesh to be rent from my cold, fragile bones, but it was worth it. When off-kilter riffs combine with screeching vocals, nothing is sacred, but everything is awesome.”

Seek out Grethor on Facebook and tell them the Toilet sent you.

Honorable Mentions

Beggar’s Row: Old-school crossover
Caust: Grind/Scramz


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
Pennsylvania – Burden
Rhode Island – Eternal Khan
South Carolina – Solaire
South Dakota – Jelly Nutz Justoner
Tennessee – Forest of Tygers
Texas – Peasant
Utah – Disforia
Vermont – Vaporizer

(Photo VIA)

  • Void Dweller

    It’s the Commonwealth of Virginia, god damn it.

    • Mother Shabubu 4

      That’s the beauty of living anywhere else in the US; we don’t care.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRTTSpzc3aA

      • Pagliacci is Kvlt

        I don’t know anyone in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that really cares if you call PA a commonwealth.

        • It is clearly the REPUBLIC of Texas though.

          • Pagliacci is Kvlt

            We’ll see about that after Jade Helm 15.

          • KJM

            BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Disgustache
    • Herr Schmitty

      There’s only one *true* Commonwealth, and that’s Massachusetts.

      • Oh man! A Commonwealth circle jerk! Fresh!

        GL

      • KJM

        You know it, biotch.

      • Lacertilinger

        I try spending most of my time encouraging people to leave the commonwealth, you don’t want this.

  • Bitter (Tyree) Debra

    Here’s another killer unsigned band (One man) from VA. Demonic and atmospheric black metal. Vocals are a bit hidden though. Just found this guy last night actually.

    https://draath.bandcamp.com/album/black-slumber

    • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

      Peeping now.

    • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

      Man, this really reminds me of something, but I’m having trouble placing it.

      • Bitter (Tyree) Debra

        Hmm, not sure. I sort of dig how he uses his vocals more for soundscapes and atmosphere. Unique style.

        • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

          Yah, I like that. More texture than anything. Hmmm.

          • Bitter (Tyree) Debra

            Make sure you let me know what it reminds you of when it finally comes to you. I’m curious.

          • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

            Will do!

    • check out the picture for the bandcamp.

      siiiiiqqqq

      https://f1.bcbits.com/img/0005139589_10.jpg

      • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

        Sometimes lo-fi photography works really well.

        • almost looks like he is holding the skull up with both hands… but then you cannot see any other features… it is a good photo for sure

      • Bitter (Tyree) Debra

        Those woods are full of evil forces and moonshine distilleries.

        • KJM

          Don’t forget the meth labs with cracker-ass security systems.

          • *effective* cracker-ass security systems, mind you!

          • KJM

            Didn’t work out so well in True Detective season 1. KA-BOOM!!

            http://i.imgur.com/SiMg8hi.gif

          • season 2 is super disappointing me

          • KJM

            I know. I have just enough curiosity to stay the course until the end, but there’s a serious drop in quality all around.

      • oh man, better not let @mouseporn:disqus see this!

        • Bitter (Tyree) Debra

          You really just like tagging people, don’t you?

        • that cool cat has been awol for some time now. . . .

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          How do you do that tagging thing? Teach me master!

          • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

            Just hit @

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            I don’t like violence. I’m a pacifist.

          • what are you when near the Atlantic ocean? A atlantifist?

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            I would never go near the Atlantic ocean. Atlantic oceans gives me the willies.

          • Speaking of willies… here is a picture of the Willys Jeep I am restoring. Byah!

            http://www.thecj2apage.com/forums/uploads/5125/S6300006.JPG

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            I understand nothing about cars. I’m a dirty biker hippy.

          • i left a message on your page 😉

          • Ha I seen that. I am sure all the old dudes on the page have no idea what Gojira meant, lololozzzz

          • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

            *Just stab @

      • 2spoopy

  • Bitter (Tyree) Debra

    There’s a beer fest in Roanoke VA that I’ll be attending in August. Second time being there, Hail Beer.

    http://microfestivus.squaresociety.org/

    • Disgustache
      • Bitter (Tyree) Debra

        I murdered a spider last night. It was trespassing.

        • Disgustache

          That’s alright. Spiders always make fun of me and say mean shit about my haircut. So it’s only right to extinguish their lifeloving web spinning existence.

          • KJM

            Spiders are welcome in my house because they keep the damned flies and hornets away.

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            GORAK RATHER HAVE SPIDER PROBLEM THAN BEAR PROBLEM!!!!!!

          • KJM

            We have coyotes in Somerville.

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            GORAK CAVE ON LAKESHORE!!!! GORAK MOSTLY HAVE SMASH STOOPID BUG & RODENT!!!!!

          • Disgustache

            Your house sounds brütal.

          • KJM

            Top-floor apartment actually. Insects aren’t a problem anymore, but it used to be bad during the Summer. One year it was ants, the other flies.

          • Disgustache
          • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

            Every summer I have to deal with those horrid little fruit flies that are the size of gnats.

          • KJM

            Yep, we get those here too. There’s always that one fly buzzing around my “room” that I just can’t kill. Garbage has to be taken out more often as well.

        • Spiders are cunts.

      • ME GORAK B.C.™

        HAAAAAIIIIIILLLL!!!!!! MURDEEEEEEER!!!!!!!!!!!

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Fuck I love Dark Funeral

  • Hubert

    Ohhh, this SKRONKS nicely.

    • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

      Skronkadelic

  • Disgustache

    Man those vocals. Otherworldly. Super sick. Need to check them out more tonight.

    http://favim.com/orig/201106/13/beetlejuice-ghosts-hand-photograph-polaroid-Favim.com-74067.jpg

  • Eldritch horror you say? I shall listen!

  • wholly shiite, this is amazebro

  • Oh, really? Wow. Guess all those lessons worked out, eh?

    • Welcome to the Toilet @phoenixliterary:disqus !

      GL

      • Oh, thank you so much…yeah, I heard these dudes are pretty good…; – )

    • KJM

      Hullo.(relative? spouse?)

      • I’m related to one of them and am very happy for their success. Get the word out, they’re really good!

        • KJM

          Excellent! We’re all about promoting good stuff(mostly Metal) here!

    • welcome to the toilet!

    • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

      Thanks for posting here! Great band.

      • my pleasure…they are good and it is great that folks are catching on!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      WELCOME TO THE BOWL

  • ME GORAK B.C.™

    GORAK LIKE GRETHOR!!!!!!!!
    #CLUBSMASHOVAPPROVAL!!!!!!

    • Lacertilinger

      Grethor kinda sounds like a relative of yours.

      • ME GORAK B.C.™

        GRETHOR GOT SMASHED TO DEATH BY STAMPEDING MASTODON BEFORE ICE NAP!!!!!!!

  • DCLXVI

    bass is heavy on this. snare sounds hollow. over all good

  • KJM

    OT: I wonder who Acid King will have as their opening act, just got mah ticket.

    • CT-12

      hopefully nobody

      • KJM

        I’ll root for a good band, but it’ll probably be an act I don’t know.

  • M Shadows!

    Wow! This is so much better than the stupid band I stupidly sing stupid lyrics for!

  • Anthony Rouse

    Thank you guys for all the kind comments and support, and thank you to the distinguished gentlemen of Toilet ov Hell for featuring us!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Welcome to TOH & excellent work on the album

    • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

      Thanks for making such a killer album.