The Usurper

Noteworthy Metal – August 2019

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #118. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.


Selections of noteworthy metal.


Hello everyone! I was moving across the country last month but metal, rudely, did not stop coming out so I have a pile of records for y’all and limited space in which to shill them!

Lanayah – Forever in May

Fairly unclassifiable blackened screamo (???) that moves adeptly between gauzy, gentle sections and firebreathing aggression. A wonderfully pretty album even in its harshest moments.

Totenwache – Der Schwarze Hort

Second-wave black metal (it’s annoying when I say stuff like this, right? I just mean Darkthrone or Mayhem!!!) with sharp riff writing and Good Guitar Tones Brother.

Humanity’s Last Breath – Abyssal

Title says it all. Hateful 8-string guitar shit.

Valborg – Zentrum

Valborg play an irresistible kind of brutishly mechanized Celtic Frost. Some of the slower material here veers into Godflesh or Marilyn Manson territory. I don’t know – what if Tombs were good? That’s Valborg.

Aphrodite – Lust and War

Unreconstructed speed metal. Risks embarassment. Rips from start to finish.

Abbath – Outstrider

Abbath is almost 50. He’s definitely someone’s father if not grandpa. I’ve always had a soft spot for Abbath-era Immortal, and his first solo record was okay if not great. This is great. He’s assembled a band that can pull off a sort of black-metal Mercyful Fate style and it S.L.A.P.S. Bump this shit loud.

False – Portent

False are a band that got dumb levels of hype based on some subpar material and, I guess, their position in some scene or the label they were signed to. Thankfully we can forget about that because Portent is a superb black metal record. Beautifully composed, produced, arranged, all of it. This is a total ripper!!

Friendship – Undercurrent

See it’s called Friendship because they hate you.

Ripped to Shreds – Demon Scriptures

Very grindy very good death metal.

Sadness – I Want to Be There

I love Sadness. One of the most prolific and most consistent metal acts out there and this record is yet another infinitely layered depression vortex that will make you want to stare at a wall or at a dead bird or something. But in a good way.

Satan’s Eclipse – Impure

With a song title like “Sapphic Initiation” you know these guys are terrified of lesbians and that makes me feel powerful. Hard shit.


Astrid Budgor is a writer and editor living in Florida.

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