Each Friday, Editors Ted Nubel and Jon Rosenthal [usually] will share their picks for Records of the Week—not necessarily what's out this week, just whatever's on our mind or on our record players.


Jon Rosenthal

Dan Swanö


An absolute classic of progressive death metal, made by one of metal's most singular minds. Crafted just after Edge of Sanity began to collapse, and originally billed as a new Edge of Sanity album (actually), Dan Swanö's Moontower exists in the liminal space between progressive rock and death metal, bouncing between its two identity halves with a playful character. Swanö was no stranger to being strange, having challenged death metal since the early '90s in Pan.Thy.Monium, but Moontower's catchy, more easily digestible sound proved that this multi-instrumentalist and songwriter was formidable on his own. Go ahead and listen to "Uncreation" and tell me this isn't a fun album. I dare you.

Oh, a fun aside: one time I saw a bunch of middle and high schoolers (their band was called Rain) tear through a cover of album opener "Sun of the Night" while opening for Candlemass in 2008. It was absolutely incredible. I wonder what those dudes are up to now.


Ted Nubel


Trono de Huesos

When I was first getting to know my then-girlfriend, now-wife, the topic of favorite music came up. I wasn't writing about metal then, fortunately, so I didn't have to shamefully explain away music journalism, but I did have to admit I mostly listened to heavy metal and progressive rock. On the flip side, my wife was mostly into indie, emo, and pop, but had a few metal bands she liked: Cradle of Filth, Children of Bodom, sure, makes sense, and… Machetazo? That was my first introduction to the Spanish death-grind band, and they've remained a go-to for brutal intensity henceforth.

Trono de Huesos (or, in English, the amusingly rhyming 'Throne of Bones') is a 32-minute deathgrind tour de force. All riffs, all nastiness, a few weird samples, perfection. I'm all for heavy metal continuing to evolve, but there's something about the primitive simplicity of Trono de Huesos that makes it cathartically simple to digest.

Anyway, my wife would end up helping me expand my musical horizons a ton, and I would go on to show her a few cool metal bands here and there. She even supports my mid-life foray into writing paragraphs about heavy metal, which is pretty great. Long story short, if your partner likes Taylor Swift and deathgrind, they're a keeper.


Colin Williams


Siege of Self

I was utterly captivated by the Philly grindcore trio's last release, Warsaw, which is basically seven minutes of purest hell. Their new record Siege of Self, which is also their first full-length, sees them do listeners one better—it clocks in at over twice Warsaw's length. This additional runtime gives Bandit more time to explore both musically and conceptually, as when they dip into death metal on "Bring the War Home," even sampling Peter and the Wolf to touch things off. According to vocalist Gene Meyer in their very recent Decibel writeup, Siege of Self is a highly psychological record, exhuming Meyer's experiences with mental illness and exploring the ways self-hatred and negativity can be both paralyzing and redemptive. (Hear, hear—I doubt I'm the only metalhead with personal experience using bricks of spite to build a foundation for self-actualization.) If Warsaw was pure bleakness, Siege of Self, for all its rawness, contains glimpses of hope (see the exuberant "WHOO!" at the beginning of "Juniata"). This one comes out swinging, a quarter-hour that will shave a couple hours off your life if you let it.

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