The Usurper

Noteworthy Metal – January

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #111. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.

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Selections of noteworthy metal.

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Hello and welcome to 2019! It feels so different already . . . full of potential and promise. With a new year comes new metal, so let’s get cracking.

Jucifer – Futility

A filthy, blown-out EP that finds Jucifer continuing in the stripped-down hardcore style of their last full-length District of Dystopia. Gazelle Amber Valentine’s guitar is distorted and, of course, loudyou don’t get the kind of chunky, oversaturated sound she’s bellowing forth without turning your shit up beyond comprehension. Her vocals and Edgar Livengood’s drums are left to fight for whatever space is left in the mix. New heat from a perpetually underrated band.

Krallice – Wolf

Five-track EP from technical black metal vets Krallice; the raw, open production is perfect for their complex chording and sudden blitzes of speed. Nothing necessarily new from the boys, but a solid listen.

Barshasketh – Barshasketh

Superb dissonant black metal in the Deathspell Omega/Aosoth style. Rewards close-listening as the mix is tightly controlled and packed with detail. Dense, seemingly infinite strata of liquid guitar elaborate on familiar rhythmic cadences.

Mo’ynoq – Dreaming in a Dead Language

Four-piece black metal outfit Mo’ynoq are from Raleigh, but they’re named after a near-abandoned, toxic town in Uzbekistan. Their sound evokes industrial waste and vast empty spaces, full of squalling rusted guitars and raw-edged screaming. “Carve My Name” opens with a desolate, beguiling guitar passage that leads into colossal post-metal; “The Collector”’s opening sludge riff splits into ricocheting blast beats and subtle tremolo interplay between a hard-panned pair of guitars. This is a great fucking record.

Exorbitant Prices Must Diminish – Einer Für Alle

Guttural demo from Swiss grindcore outfit Exorbitant Prices Must Diminish, named after the Disrupt song. Einer Für Alle (“one for all”) is winningly messy and energetic, with atypical cover art.

Marécages – Maris Juana – Une Ode Cannabique

I promise I would not recommend any old weed metal bullshit in this column. Marécages (“wetlands”) are more Eyehategod than The Green Leaf Wizard or whatever the best one of those bands is called. This record has an aggressively distorted edge and pained, ragged vocals (try CBD?)—yes, the riffs involve downtuned “Lord of this World” business and the drums are set to shuffle, but this is good stuff if you’re in the mood.

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Astrid Budgor is a writer and editor living in Florida.

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