The Usurper

Noteworthy Metal – December 2019

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #122. 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.


Here is a list of my favorite heavy music of the year. I love all of it, so it’s not in any order. I’m sure the implication that some of this is “heavy” would surely sicken real heads. Apologies. I have included the genre of each release to help guide you and, if it helps, the record I have listened to the most is the PassCode.

Falaise – A Place I Don’t Belong To (atmospheric BM)

BiSH –  “FREEZE DRY THE PASTS” (live) (alt-idol)

No Point in Living – Last Promise (depressive BM)

Kval – Laho (atmospheric BM)

Dir En Grey – “The World of Mercy” (unclassifiable)

Weeping Sores – False Confession (gothic doom)

Lord Vicar – The Black Powder (classic doom)

PassCode – Clarity (hyperactive trance metal J-pop)

Ibex Moon – Past Evil (BM)

The Howling Void – Bleak and Everlasting (funeral doom)

Sadness – I Want to Be There (atmospheric BM)

Dreamcatcher –  “My Way ~ Kono Michi no Sakie ~” (K-pop)

Wretched Fate – Fleshletting (OSDM)

Friendship – Undercurrent (powerviolence)

Banshee – Banshee (unearthly fury BM)

Slant – Vain Attempt (hardcore)

Ethereal Darkness – Smoke and Shadows (clove cig melodeath)

Véhémence – Par le Sang Verse (BM)

Band-Maid – “Reincarnation” (idol rock)

Drawn Into Descent – The Endless Endeavour (gothic BM)

Nuvolascura – Nuvolascura (screamo)

Necronomidol – Scions of the Blasted Heath (alt-idol)

Ossuarium – Living Tomb (death metal)

Jucifer – Futility (crusty)

The Comes – No Side (reissue) (hardcore)

Gang Parade – “Dreamer” (alt-idol)

White Ward – Love Exchange Failure (jazz metal?)

Malignant Altar – Retribution of Jealous Gods (OSDM)

Raventale – Morphine Dead Gardens (funeral doom)

Cloud Rat – Pollinator (grind)

BiS –  “DEAD or A LiME” (alt-idol)

Takafumi Matsubara – Strange, Beautiful, and Fast (grind)

Valborg – Zentrum (pneumatic industrial)

Boris – LOVE & EVOL (drone)

False – Portent (BM)

Serpent Column – Mirror in Darkness (avant-garde BM)

Casket Huffer – Filth Ouroboros (war metal)

Abbath – Outstrider (old man BM)


Astrid Budgor is a writer and editor living in Florida.

Ad Free, Music, Recommendations, Unwinnable Monthly