The Best Band In Washington is Witch Ripper

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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 spending weeks wringing our sweaty (sometimes tiny) hands in indecision, we finally narrowed down our pick for the most legally stoned state in the Union. The best band in Washington is Witch Ripper.

The Washington state city of Seattle is a famous hub for outsider culture on the west coast of the United States, and boasts quite the selection of tasty independent bands – so much so that our staff was rather torn on just who to crown the best in the state. Eventually, Seattle’s Witch Ripper won the hearts and minds of the jury to become Toilet Ov Hell champions of the highest order.

Witch Ripper creates a perfect balance of traditional and modern doom, with lots of melody and nary a trace of corny 70’s worship. Their quick-and-dirty debut EP is just the hazy riffgasm you’ve been aching for – four songs equally suited for smoking a spliff in the comfort of your own home or blaring out of your best buddy’s car windows on an amphetamine-fueled midnight joyride.

Go say hi to Witch Ripper on Facebook and grab their EP as a pay-what-you-want bandcamp download ASAP. Be sure to tell them a formerly chubby dweeb from Minneapolis sent you, along with all his Toilet goons. But don’t just take it from me. Here’s what some of our judges had to say:

Joe Thrashnkill: Witch Ripper hit high points on their debut EP that bring to mind the heft of Mastodon and the the melodic precision of Baroness. Sleep on this band at your own peril.

LacertilianFinding stray cauldrons in your neighbourhood? Broomsticks going missing? Noticing a surge in the black cat population? All out of newts? Sounds like you have a problem with witches! From the company that ground down your mammoth problem and destroyed all the pigs, we bring you Witch Ripper. They’ll stomp all over those pesky conjurers and drag them down into the sludgy mire for next to no fee. There’s never been a better time to get your witches ripped

Honorable Mentions

A Sense of Gravity – Proggy, theatrical metalcore
A God or an Other – Trees n’ shit sludge 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
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

(Photo VIA)

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  • First time I listened a band before this contest!

    Witch Ripper is very good!

    Also, is this the final state left? When the arena pits between the states begin?

  • tertius_decimus

    OH MY GOD! THAT BASS TONE!

  • Sir Tapir The Based :]

    Yo, this be pretty dimmadarn good!

    • OldMetalHead

      You always seem so much more positive on here than on the other blog. Must be a quality of content thing 😉

      • Sir Tapir The Based :]

        Better music and the lack of Hester really do it for me.

  • Tyree

    Since there isn’t any death metal in any of the Honorable mentions. Here are some bands that are from Washington that deserve some recognition. Both unsigned.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sZoeW34a1U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bwb4_x7ZKIs

    • Tyree

      Burn Pile apparently got signed. Still worth checking out though.

      • They were on my list.

        • Tyree

          No one liked em I guess. No biggie, just wanted people to know who they are.

          • No, I mean I think they would have got some votes but after checking closer I saw they got the signage.

          • Tyree

            Ah, gottcha.

  • Void Dweller

    Another witch name? Oh well.

  • KJM

    Wow, for a moment I thought I pressed play/pause on the wrong tab and was still listening to High On Fire. Good stuff.

  • RustyShackleford

    TIGHT! I’m kinda in the mood for this A Sense of Gravity also, pretty fun. Yep.

  • Angry Ghosts In My Boogers

    Dayum, this is good! I sense a little bit of Obsessed and St. Vitus influence with these guys.

  • I really enjoy the gruff vocal presentation. There is something about being about to sing with the gruff! The vocals remind me of Gojira-esq vocal presentation.

    The guitar melodies are rambo, too.

    I know where my final vote is going to go!

    GL

    • To Peasant, no doubt!

      • Dubzlinger, Malandro Slayer

        I’m partial to The Sleer, Grethor, and Drouth

        • Note: those are all tough names to pronounce.

          • Tyree
          • Angry Ghosts In My Boogers

            Pffffffffffffft, amateur!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBLDeNbFII0

            The band’s full name is *takes a deep breath*:
            Pierasiakajučy Swiatlieńnie J Zmrok Dziewiaci Miraŭ Spustašęnnia
            Čatyroch Wymiaręńniaŭ Času J Prastoru, Spiralliu Skroź Niewiadomuju
            Biaskoncasć Daliokaha Kosmasu Prazrystaje Sonca Wosieni Zachodzić U
            Zienit Astraĺnaj Prajekcyi Kručęńnia Transcęndęntaĺnych Staŭpoŭ
            Swojeasabliwaści Płoskaści Analizu Niepachisnaści Iściny‘ and
            ‘Pašyrajučy Spiektr Suzirańnia Ękstrapaliarnaha Kantynuumu Praz
            Sakraĺnaje Admaŭlieńnie Tliennaje Ręčaisnaści Naciažęńnie
            Ęnierhietyčnych Niciej Pranizliwych Prastor Wakuumu Adukawanaha Zastoju,
            Skroź Pryzmu Časoŭ Dęmatęryalizuje Katęharyčny Impieratyŭ Jak
            Iliuzornaje Stwaręńnie Bačnasci Ruchu Pa Spirali Žyccia’

            Which means:
            Projecting the singular emission ov the Doctrine ov Absolute and
            All-Absorbing Evil through the hexahedral prism ov Sîn-Ahhī-Erība upon
            the hypersurface ov zodiacal arc ov the cosmotechnical order ov
            paleocontact founders the utterly ancient hypostases ov pre-axes
            civilizations actuate the resonance transformer ov temporally similar to
            the eternity ov the future in the towers ov Nwn-Hu-Kek-Amon’s
            obcervatory embodying the ashes ov Alulim into the ethereal matter to
            the west ov exoplanet PSRB 1620-26b.

          • more beer

            Who could even remember the name of that band? Not to mention there is no way that would fit on the sign to any club they play at. Plus it`s just a stupid name. Too cvlt for me.

          • Angry Ghosts In My Boogers

            You’re not missing anything. They’re pretty mediocre as is.

          • more beer

            What do you expect. How much time can they have to practice. They spend all that time trying to remeber the name of the band.

        • cosign Grethor and Drouth

      • That disqus was awesome.

    • I will be the captain for Team Bereave.

  • This sounds VERY Mastodon-y to me, but it’s rull good.

  • JW(E)G

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that you collectively had a harder time getting a shortlist out of the WA entries. There are multiple fucktons of quality indie metal coming out of the PNW (measured in *metric* fucktons north of the border).

  • J.R.™

    Sense of Gravity aren’t signed? Wow.
    Also: choosing a final victor is going to be IMPOSSIBLE

    • Lacertilinger

      I was surprised about that too. They might not make the music that I prefer to listen to but they clearly know what they’re doing.
      Final victor?
      You’ll just pick Solaire.

      • J.R.™

        I dunno man. Noble Beast, Destroy Judas, Withering Light, Martriden…it’s gonna be tough. While I love that Solaire album, I seem to primarily enjoy it whilst driving, whereas Destroy Judas and Withering Light guide me into solemn contemplation of pain and the void.

        • Lacertilinger

          Solaire is nice for driving with the windows down and sun setting, agreed, but it’s winter here so I’ve been listening to some frosty shit. Solaire will have their full length out by my Summer it seems. Good timing.
          Matriden are one of my faves too, there were rumblings on there page(s) the other day.
          It’s not secret though that Borealis are my #1.

          • J.R.™

            That Solaire is just as long as my commute to school. Very happy about that. My issue is it’s summer up here and all my music is chilly winter black metal.
            Went back and checked Borealis. A little too “punk” or something. Too unrestrained. Wild. But now I know where you stand….
            Until that dark day then, when we must clash swords on the field of Best Band battle.

  • Waynecro

    Shaded Enmity is a good band from Washington:

  • CT-12

    I love living in Washington, and it’s just a bonus that so many good bands are from here. Witch Ripper are cool, though I don’t totally agree with them being “the best” unsigned band in WA (even if that’s completely subjective and I hate the idea of competition in music altogether). Oh well, just glad see some light brought to my area!

  • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

    This is rel gud. BB approved

    Like clutch had sex w mastodon while high on fire was masturbating in the background

  • I love it when I can hear bass in metal songs. Hot damn that is sexy.

  • OldMetalHead

    Love Seattle. It was one of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Portland. This band is really good, and I love the album art. It’s kind of like the logo on the original Starbucks except modernized for legalized weed 😉

  • DCLXVI

    This is definitely a top contender in this contest

    • Lacertilinger

      They be up there for sure.