YOU Choose the Best Unsigned Band in the U.S: Round 1 pt. 2

The battle continues: Connecticut vs. New Mexico! Wisconsin vs. Hawaii! Iowa vs. Nevada! Minnesota vs. West Virginia! Colorado vs. Alaska! Alabama vs. Nebraska!

Some people say that art isn’t a competition. Those people are losers. EVERYTHING is a competition. Here at the Toilet ov Hell, we’ve gone and declared the best unsigned band in each state of the union. Now we’re pitting these warriors against each other for the right to claim the ultimate prize: The title of Best of the Best. Which band will champion their state to glory? That’s up for you to decide.

HOW IT WORKS:
Each state was seeded by population size. The 14 most-populous states received a first round bye. Voting closes August 30th. Today, 12 bands are battling it out for supremacy. Autumn’s Eyes (CT), Void Ritual (NM), Arctic Sleep (WI), Darkest Path (HI), Blizzard At Sea (IA), Elephant Rifle (NV), Noble Beast (MN), Horseburner (WV), The Sleer (CO), Terraform (AK), Phylum (AL), and Borealis (NE). If you missed it, there’s still time to vote on Round 1 Part 1.


Autumn’s Eyes (Connecticut) VS. Void Ritual (New Mexico)

Autumn’s Eyes – “Type O Negative fans should kick back and relax pretty easily here, along with anyone who likes a slight industrial feel without being beaten about the head and neck with it. Mitchell’s strong, clear, mid-range baritone is highly infectious, locking listeners in with catchy lines that have a lot of fun but never feel insincere. The same goes for the instruments, and I found myself seriously digging the bass lines on more than one occasion.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

 

Void Ritual – “Those engaging Void Ritual will find blistering, unrepentant black metal with tremolo riffs more jagged than Sandia peak, vocals more desolate than the atomic desert of White Sands, and talent deeper than the Carlsbad Caverns. Songs flow seamlessly from slower, spiritual passages to visceral volcanic blasts with nary a hitch or odd note to be found.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 14-12-2014 20:22:33
end_date 30-08-2015 20:00:00
Poll Results:
Autumn's Eyes VS. Void Ritual

Arctic Sleep (Wisconsin) VS. Darkest Path (Hawaii)

Arctic Sleep – “When you need PROG and also want some dang FEELINGS to go with it, Arctic Sleep is your band. Like if Poison The Well ghostwrote a Baroness album.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

Darkest Path – “Darkest Path grabbed me right off the bat by combining a melodic intellectuality with the brvtality of black and death metal. The harsh vocals call to mind the black metal/prog legend Ihsahn while the instruments blend together multiple styles of metal but retain accessability that immediately appeals to the listener. One of the album’s strongest features is Karaffa’s ability to vary the rhythms to create shifting moods and textures; the result is far from boring.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 14-12-2014 20:22:33
end_date 30-08-2015 20:00:00
Poll Results:
Arctic Sleep vs. Darkest Path

Blizzard At Sea (Iowa) VS. Elephant Rifle (Nevada)

Blizzard At Sea – “From the landlocked city of Iowa City, Blizzard at Sea take you miles off shore to deliver their brand of chilling progressive post-metal sludge. Often in a similar vein as Isis, the trio creates loud and catchy grooves layered with punching vocals. Their progressive tendencies explore boundaries outside of the post-metal realm when mixing things up with acoustic guitars and occasional clean vocals.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

Elephant Rifle – “It’s noise rock, but it’s noise rock that sleeps on top of a debris heap consisting of god-knows-what in the back of a shitty van, showers in shitty beer, dries off with the one shitty shirt it owns/never puts on, then blowdries its gross hair in front of the exhaust pipe. It’s hardcore, but it’s hardcore that eats roadkill for breakfast. You dig? I dig.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 14-12-2014 20:22:33
end_date 30-08-2015 20:00:00
Poll Results:
Blizzard At Sea vs. Elephant Rifle

Noble Beast (Minnesota) VS. Horseburner (West Virginia)

Noble Beast – “While power metal for most us means putting on your finest mail coif and dragon riding pants and charging into all the battles, Noble Beast brings more to the table (though you still get to wear your mail coif and dragon pants). The music formula boils down to sweet thrash riffs + the catchiest choruses = success! As someone who hates math, I must admit that that is a formula I can back 100%.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

Horseburner – “Musically, Horseburner occupy a space similar to other “Best Band” winners Witch Ripper and The Seduction. Expect equal parts Mastodon and Thin Lizzy. And if that doesn’t sound righteous, you can fuck right off. This 4-piece from Parkersburg, WV have been together since 2009 and they’ve been steadily improving the entire time. Strange Giant is their best work to date.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 14-12-2014 20:22:33
end_date 30-08-2015 20:00:00
Poll Results:
Noble Beast vs. Horseburner

The Sleer (Colorado) VS. Terraform (Alaska)

The Sleer – “Towing the line between cavernous death metal and water-logged doom, The Sleer avoid all the nettlesome trappings and pretenses that usually hinder bands of their ilk from making memorable music. The riffs are as crushing as a landslide of granite, the drums are as constant and battering as the tides, and the vocals emanate with the ancient fury of nature scorned. In only four long tracks, this band proclaims its dominance of the natural world and slowly lumbers into the inner reaches of your consciousness, leaving a swath of destruction in its wake.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

Terraform – “There are more polished bands in Alaska, to be sure, but none of them excited our judges like the brazen thrash contained in Terraform’s small handful of rough recordings. The tracks are wild and careening thrash affairs with a pinch of death thrown in. If you’re a guitar nerd (like me), the fretwork at play will thrill you; the riffs on “Shark Bite” are savage, son. Most importantly, the songs here function as actual songs, a higher accolade than many metal bands will ever achieve.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 14-12-2014 20:22:33
end_date 30-08-2015 20:00:00
Poll Results:
The Sleer vs. Terraform

Phylum (Alabama) VS. Borealis (Nebraska)

Phylum – “In half the time it takes to listen to one lame-ass Dream Theater tune, you can jam their entire EP. I suggest you do so. The standout track for me is definitely closer “Assimilate”. The band takes the standard fast-and-angry-as-fuck grind template and throws in twisted guitar lines, heavy stomps, tape noise and distortion to create a complete bastard of a song.”
(Read the full writeup) (Facebook)

Borealis – “Borealis takes old school death metal, some thrash, some doom, and some punk, then somehow blends it together in a way that sounds way, way better than it should. It’s not a spasmodic jump back and forth between styles, either. You get something more with Borealis; something coalesced and fully realized.”
(Read the full writeup)

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 14-12-2014 20:22:33
end_date 30-08-2015 20:00:00
Poll Results:
Phylum vs. Borealis
  • Vote for Jeb

    Phylum v Borealis was the only match-up for which I had to re-listen.

  • Hubert

    BUMMER

  • Vote for Jeb

    Vote for The Sleer and Void Ritual

    • QUIT TRYING TO SWAY THE VOTE, YOU DICKBAG POLITICIAN.

      • Guacamole Jim

        The Sleer tho

      • Vote for Jeb

        Sometimes the little people need a voice of reason to guide them to the light.

        • KJM

          After all, you’re just trying to protect them from themselves.

        • Pagliacci is Kvlt

          Is that why Trump is so far ahead in the polls?

          • KJM

            I still say Trump won’t be allowed anywhere near the GOP nomination.

          • Sir Tapir The Based :]

            If somehow Trump gets elected, I’m gonna lose the small shred of hope I have towards you people.

          • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

            If it’s any consolation, Clinton’s got him beat in the polls by 10%. Not much of an improvement, but better her than him. It’s kinda like asking “which do you like the taste of better? Piss or shit?”.

          • KJM

            I’ll vote 3rd party if it’s her Vs “unnamed republican”, but that’s because I live in Massachusetts.

            The next President will be a Democrat. It’s just a matter of it being either Hillary or Bernie. It doesn’t mean squat if the GOP still holds Congress and The Senate.

          • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

            I’m hoping Biden runs and Trump wins the GOP vote. Just for the utter hilarity of watching those two debate. A preview of what it’d look like:

            http://i.imgur.com/FLy8ZTJ.gif

          • Congress and the Senate are bigger problems IMO. If we got wholesale changes in that group we’d be better off. Who the President is means squat because you have to go through these losers to get anything done.

          • KJM

            And none of this “we have to please everybody” crap. Elections have consequences. Democrats don’t seem to understand that as well as they used to.

          • KJM

            I’d honestly bet big money that Trump will not be the next President.

          • Pagliacci is Kvlt
          • The Haunting Presence of Tyree
          • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

            Damn, Rahm Emanuel’s aging quick as hell nowadays.

          • KJM

            Trump Vs Nader in a steel cage. Both go in and, hopefully, neither of them come out.

          • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

            Oh, god, then you’ll really get to hear the Trump-loving Dittoheads in full force. At least half of them will make empty threats to move to Canada as usual.

          • KJM

            Shit, if they don’t like it here, they’ll hate Canada.

          • Guacamole Jim

            If they’re voting for Trump, they’ll REALLY hate the land of socialists.

          • KJM

            Oddly enough, Trump supports single-payer health care.

          • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

            They seem to forget that fact. Remember how Ted Nugent was saying he’d move to Canada if Obama got elected (as well as promising to kill himself)? Not that I’d have a problem with tossing him over there and never having him back.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Don’t you start sending more garbage to us!

          • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

            It’s payback for Bieber and Drake! *sends those two back and brings Into Eternity and Rick Moranis over here*

          • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

            And Mexico would definitely be a no go. I guess they’ll just move to Greenland.

          • He’s there to split the GOP vote and I think that’s just fantastic. Keep at it Donald!

          • KJM

            There is no God that loves me so much that S/He would “convince” Trump to go 3rd party if he doesn’t get the nod. That would just be too perfect.

            I’m also convinced Trump’s there to make Jeb look more palatable.

          • I think he’s intentionally pushing xenophobic messages to divide the GOP even further. It looks bad for the party overall, AND it’ll cause the red-meat supporters to abandon an “establishment” politician like Jeb. Everything about this is excellent.

          • You have captured my exact sentiment for why I think Donald should quit.

          • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

            I’m beginning to think that the Dems put him in there for just that purpose.

          • more beer

            What and ruin my third party vote?

          • KJM

            I’m sure there will be a far more palatable 3rd party candidate for you to vote for. I certainly hope so cos that’s what I plan on doing if Clinton is the Dems pick. I’ve only voted GOP once. Never again.

          • more beer

            It`s what I plan on doing no matter who either party runs.

          • KJM

            If by some miracle Bernie gets the Democrat nod, I’ll give him my vote. Otherwise, 3rd party’s the plan.

          • more beer

            That`s going to be the miracle of miracles.

          • KJM

            Indeed.

      • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

        It’s Bush-Gore all over again.

        • KJM

          Hopefully there won’t be a Supreme Court to fuck us over this time.

    • VOTE HORSEBURNER FOR A AMERICA FREE FROM THE TANGLES OF POWER METAL!

  • The Haunting Presence of Tyree

    The room is hot…that’s good. Some of my friends came.

    http://imghumour.com/assets/Uploads/Hello-is-it-me-youre-looking-for.jpg

    • Dagon

      I love this

  • Mother Shabubu 4

    MS4, Lieutenant of Team Bereave here, urging you all to vote BEREAVE again. Despite the name, it is well known the members of Bereave all love puppies, kittehs, goats, capybaras, sloths, tapirs, and whatever other animals it takes for you to join our #TeamBereave movement.

    https://bereave.bandcamp.com/releases

  • Mother Shabubu 4

    Being a Connecticünt myself, I wonder if any good bands come from Connecticut? All I know is Hatebreed, Emmure, MGMT, The World Is A Really Long and Shitty Name and I Am No Longer Afraid To Die?

  • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

    Arctic Sleep got my vote right off the bat. I’d go so far as to say they’re the best unsigned band in America.

  • JWEG

    I still think that if the Hawaiian entry had actually gone for a prog-metal variation on Hawaiian slack key tunes it could have been an unstoppable contender.

    Now, I just can’t see it getting past this round.

    • Guacamole Jim

      I think you’re right. It’s too bad, because I actually do quite like it. It’s a fun listen.

  • Celtic Frosty

    Void Ritual all day errday

  • DCLXVI

    fuck you guys for making me choose between Arctic Sleep and Darkest Path

    • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

      Tough pick, but I had to go with Arctic Sleep, no doubt.

      • KJM

        I also went with Arctic Sleep this go-round.

  • JWEG

    Also: a contender for the most obvious statement made in this entire series… Witch Ripper (WA) will have serious competition next round no matter which of the two advance.

    • I hope it’s Horseburner vs. Witch Ripper for dumb joke purposes.

    • KJM

      Witch Ripper is a top pick for me, maybe even THE top pick.

      • I am going be campaigning for them. Join the fold.

        #teamWitchRipper

        GL

        • KJM

          I’ll have to go over all of them again.

        • Vote for Jeb

          You’ll have to vie with my Koch brothers funded superPAC

          • well… I have twelve bricks. So beat that, Jebediah!

          • KJM

            I’ll be getting a fuckton of that sweet Soros cash for whomever I finally pick.

            RipperPAC, has a nice ring to it.

  • Celtic Frosty

    Picking between Noble Beast and Horseburner is a tough one, and I don’t even like power metal that much.

  • Give Elephant Rifle some love, dat band be good

    • Heroic Iron Boogers Of Doom

      I thought Elephant Rifle was signed for a second, but then I realized I was thinking of the indy rock band.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Only one of these pair ups was a really kinky one this go around. Which was nice.

  • Stockhausen

    Although I loved Horseburner, I had to go with Noble Beast, because awwwwww horsies.

    • Your soon to be parental instincts are making you soft, boy.

      • Stockhausen

        I’m the biggest weenie when it comes to animals. I couldn’t bring myself to see a John Wick.

    • KJM

      But…but it’s just a burner shaped like a horse, right? They’re not…burning actual horsies, are they?!!!!! NOOOOOOO

      • Stockhausen

        OL’ BESSIE *sniff*

    • Hail true warrior

  • Dagon

    Two of the coolest releases in Blizzard At Sea and Elephant Rifle are put against each other.

    Blizzard At Sea is superior IMO.

  • Dagon

    Colorado vs Alaska = duel of the states I don’t remember listening.

    Please vote Borealis on the last one. Bad things may happen if you don’t.

  • RJA

    I’m glad this is moving right along. My 2 favorites of this one being void ritual, the sleer and blizzard at sea close behind.

  • I hate having to choose between some of these

  • “VOTE NOBLE BEAST”
    — Whoever you greatest hero is.

    • I wish I could vote Noble Beast for every state. That is an album that I would gladly go and put on my top albums of 2014 list had I listened to it in 2014.

  • CyberneticOrganism
    • Yup.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Wow you’ve aged

        • Since 1990? Yeah. Just a bit.

          But Martian years are different than Earth years, so uh…gravity and, uh…relativity?

          No, wait–DARK MATTER!!!!

  • Waynecro

    I picked Phylum. Don’t tell the teachers I shared my answer, or they’ll fail us all!

    • Lacertilian

      F

      • Sir Tapir The Based :]

        F is for friends who do stuff together

        • Lacertilian

          F is the appropriate letter given to those who don’t vote Borealis.

          • Sir Tapir The Based :]

            U is for you and me
            N is for anywhere and anytime at all down here in the deep blue sea!

      • Waynecro

        How about an F+? I’ve always been an overachiever.

  • Lacertilian

    YESSS!
    The Borealis run to the finish has begun.