Polish artist Mariusz Lewandowski quickly became something of a sensation in the extreme metal scene with the release of Bell Witch‘s Mirror Reaper and its instantly-recognizable album artwork depicting the Mirror Reaper itself. Lewandowski’s artwork has continued to appear on extreme metal albums with increasing regularity and has decorated some of 2019’s biggest releases. Check them out below, in alphabetical order.
Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark
Abigail Williams shed any remaining traces of their symphonic metalcore past with fifth album Walk Beyond the Dark. Led by guitarist, vocalist and sole consistent member Ken Sorceron, Abigail Williams embrace melody and intensity while continuing to carve out their unique spot in the USBM scene.
Astral Altar – A.A.
Anonymous New York City black metal entity Astral Altar have appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, with debut EP A.A. Though it’s not officially out until this weekend, Astral Altar are streaming the entirety of the EP via their Bandcamp page. Prepare for a torrent of intense and atmospheric black metal!
Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire
Atlantean Kodex have a flair for the dramatic and it showed on their third album. The German heshers delivered over an hour of epic doom that spans the spectrum from quiet and thoughtful to full-on galloping heavy metal.
False – Portent
2019 was False’s year, even landing on Decibel‘s Best of 2019 list. The midwest black metallers followed up 2015’s Untitled with Portent, an album that pushed False’s sound in new directions. From doomy and gloomy to symphonic and atmospheric to ripping and aggressive, Portent is clearly a pivotal moment in False’s career.
Fuming Mouth – The Grand Descent
A lot of trash has been talked on the “new wave of hardcore kids playing death metal” but Fuming Mouth’s The Grand Descent marries both genres into an absolute assbeater. Already a consistent presence in the northeast hardcore and metal scenes, Fuming Mouth proved their ability to add hardcore elements without watering down death metal. Need proof? Just listen to “Burning Hand.”
Rogga Johansson – Entrance to the Otherwhere
Rogga Johansson’s latest sounds exactly like you’d expect the newest album from the ultra-prolific Swedish musician. Johansson currently plays in more death metal bands than most musicians would think of starting in their lives, but here he handles every instrument. For brutal, primitive death metal, press play.
Mizmor – Yodh: Live at Roadburn 2018 & Cairn
2019 was a massive year for Mizmor and the man behind the crushing soundscapes, A.L.N. Beginning with the release of their performance at Roadburn 2018—performing first album Yodh in full—and ending it with the release of their second album, Cairn, Mizmor’s caustic fusion of black metal and doom made them one of the most-talked-about underground bands of 2019.