Here Are 60 Albums You May Have Missed in 2019

So we heard your favorite band didn’t make it on to Decibel‘s Top 40 albums of 2019. What more could you possibly want? More underground bands? More diverse genres? Shit that barely even counts as metal?


To make it an even hundred, here are 60 albums (well, one or two are EPs, but who cares?) that didn’t make the cut for print, but still absolutely deserve your attention. To sweeten the deal, we’ve omitted any records that came out on what passes as an above-ground label according to my (totally subjective, arbitrary ant not up for discussion) standards. Hell, some were self-released, and several didn’t even get reviewed in the magazine at all.

Tuck in, and make sure you’ve got plenty of cash on your Bandcamp-associated credit card. Expect a few impulse purchases in the near future.

1914The Bind Leading the Blind
Yes, it’s technically a reissue of an independent 2018 release, but these Ukrainians channel the ol Bolt Thrower determination better than almost anyone.

AgendaApocalyptic Wasteland Blues
Nordic metallic D-beat par excellence, for those wishing newer At the Gates records had more bite.

Aggressive PerfectorHavoc at the Midnight Hour
Because we have to wait until next year for a new Midnight record, here’s most of Wode doing the same thing – really well – with a Hammer Horror vibe.

Atlantean KodexThe Course of Empire
Another fine slice of historic melodic riffage in the best year for epic doom in … forever?

BethlehemLebe Dich Leer
The depressive black metal OGs still sound great after a lead singer change.

BewitcherUnder the Witching Cross
Black rock and roll that doubles down on the occult swagger.

CloakThe Burning Dawn
Gothic rock meets second wave black metal in these Atlanta outlaws’ assured sophomore record.

Cloud RatPollinator / Do Not Let Me off the Cliff
Still maybe the best grind act in the United States, Cloud Rat delivered a twofer.

Dawn Ray’dBehold Sedition Plainsong
Haters leave the hall, the U.K.’s Antifascist black metal bruisers got meaner on their second record.

Dead to a Dying WorldElegy
Do you want your crust incredibly sad, breathtakingly slow and super beautiful? Sure you do.

The DeathtripDemon Solar Totem
Psychedelic black metal that bends minds without losing itself in prog.

Diamond HeadThe Coffin Train
What if I told you Diamond Head’s new singer might be the best vocalist in trad metal and their new record is their best since Lightning to the Nations? Click the play button and see for yourself.

DisentombThe Decaying Light
Deathcore that masters blackened dissonance while it drags your face over a cheese grater.

Denver’s prog-doom prodigies do no wrong, ever.

ExulansisSequestered Sympathy
Elegiac post-crust with a touch of chamber music atmosphere.

FetidSteeping Corporeal Mess
These OSDM dealers love the sounds of Pungent Stench and early Carcass, especially played at half speed.

FoscorEls Sepulcres Blancs
Catalonia’s finest black metal export continues their streak of thought-provoking excellence.

Fuming MouthThe Grand Descent
Close your eyes and you might just imagine this band came from New York’s crossover incubator in 1990 – then bought a bunch of very modern gear.

Fvneral Fvkk Carnal Confessions
Ignore the cringey band name, clean singing doom doesn’t get much better than this.

Haunter Sacramental Death Qualia
Texan progressive black metal futurists Haunter mastered space and melody this year.

Folky black metal played without the silly beer hall melodies.

High CommandBeyond the Wall of Desolation
The year’s best thrash record is a full-on sword and sorcery concept album – who knew?

Howling GiantThe Space Between Worlds
Fuzzy doom with an intergalactic mindset and old-school prog chops.

Immortal BirdThrive on Neglect
Black. Grind. Crust. Death. Who cares? Immortal bird surpass subgenre in search of the perfect neck-snapping riff and hit the mark over and over again.

IthacaThe language of Injury
Why on earth Holy Roar records refused to promote this awesome slice of melodic hardcore in America is beyond me.

Kayo DotBlasphemy
Kayo Dot come to goth-pop Jesus, and boy does it suit them well.

The Lord Weird Slough FegNew Organon
Mike Scalzi’s folky trad metal outfit still has some of the Thin Lizzy magic.

Lunar ShadowThe Smokeless Fires
Epic heavy metal, meet ’80s goth rock, and may make-out sessions ensue.

MortiferumDisgorged from Psychotic Depths
Faithful old-school death metal with just enough filth to feel dangerous, but not enough to cover up the actual riffs.

NecropantherThe Doomed City
A concept album about Logan’s Run by a band that does a really good impression of early Skeletonwitch.

The Neptune Power FederationMemoirs of a Rat Queen
Looking for a little of the faithful rocking power of the first Ghost album with a little Queen bombast and impeccable hooks? Inquire with the Rat Queen.

NoisemCease to Exist
Have you read Decibel magazine in the past five years? Come on. It’s Noisem. They grind hard.

Fit to fulfill your darkest Finnish death metal fetishes (by way of Chicago), this time with actually distinct riffs.

Quayde LahueLove Out of Darkness
Members of Mortiferum and Christian Mistress deliver some NWOBHM-single goodness with a side of feminist revenge fantasy.

RimfrostExpedition: Darkness
Immortal and Dissection worship spiced with a little glam swagger.

Sabbath AssemblyA Letter of Red
David Nuss and his merry band of occult believers find the Blue Öyster Cult sweet spot.

Sadistic RitualVisionaire of Death
Death thrash from Atlanta with a gigantic attitude problem – in the best way.

SanhedrinThe Poisoner
Black Anvil and Amber Asylum alums engage in old school heavy metal ecstasy, good and catchy. Don’t skip “The Getaway,” whatever you do.

SaorForgotten Paths
Scotland’s premiere folkloric black metal mastermind Andy Marshall still has the ol’ magic.

SectBlood of the Beasts
Metallic hardcore’s meanest supergroup execute a savage bombing raid in less than 20 minutes. Perfect for a gotta-do-it-fast workout soundtrack.

Serial HawkStatic Apnea
Seattle’s glacial doom trio explore psychedelia and prog on their best record yet.

SermonBirth of the Marvellous
Imagine if Steven Wilson reformed Porcupine Tree and then tried to write a black-and-roll album.

SpotlightsLove & Decay
Emotive doom for those lusting after Smashing Pumpkins and Failure’s flawless ’90s tones.

Suffering HourDwell
Blood Incantation weren’t the only death metal band to write a cosmic 20-minute odyssey, but this one’s just an EP.

German oddballs continue down their martial, pseudo-industrial path to their pitch-black and molten core.

ValeBurden of Sight
Ferocious blackened crust for our blackened and encrusted times

VanumAgeless Fires
Sweeping black metal with a little of the ol’ Bathory majesty and a ferocious snarl.

VarahaA Passage for Lost Years
This Chicago band’s first record is heart-wrenching gothic doom with a penchant for epic length and engaging melodies.

VinstaDrei Deita
Austria’s best-kept secret is also the best Opeth clone I’ve ever heard.

Wandering OakPassage Elemental
Cormorant hung it up this year, leaving Wandering Oak as America’s premiere pastoral prog meets black metal outfit. Those hungry for the Hammers of Misfortune’s Mike Scalzi years will find joy here.

Weeping SoresFalse Confession
Pyrrhon members do their best My Dying Bride impression, complete with violin, and deliver the doldrums without sacrificing their eccentricities.

Witch VomitBuried Deep in a Bottomless Grave
Sounds like Morbid Angel doing bench presses in a mausoleum, what more do you want?

White WardLove Exchange Failure
Smooth-jazz inflected black metal for the whitewashed horror of urban living. The best record on this list in my opinion.

The Wraith – Absolute Power
Furious black thrash with a hard-on for nasty NWOBHM licks. Stick around for the Misfits cover at the end.

Wolfbrigade – The Enemy: Reality
Sweden’s most consistent D-beat defenders still know how to clean your clock and slam a gin and tonic right afterward.

WormwitchHeaven That Dwells Within
Melodic death metal isn’t supposed so be this good in 2019, but Wormwitch has the juice.

XothInterdimensional Invocations
Picture Chuck Schuldiner and Proscriptor McGovern starting a project together. No other band shreds this hard without sounding noodly.

Yellow EyesRare Field Ceiling
New York black metal (read: dry and knotty with an insane guitar tone) from a talented pair of brothers.

YerûšelemThe Sublime
Sure, the new Blut Aus Nord was good, but if you’re like me, you miss their poppy industrial period, which is now all released as Yerûšelem for some inscrutable reason.