Apr 062020


(On April 10th Argonauta Records will release the second album by Pittsburgh heavy doom rockers Molasses Barge, and this provided a good occasion for Comrade Aleks to catch up with guitarist Justin Gizzi in this exclusive NCS interview.)

As shit continues to hit the fan, it’s hard to predict what will happen next month or even next week, but a new Molasses Barge release is scheduled on the 10th of April by Argonauta Records, and I hope we’ll all be able to support it…

The band was started as a project in 2008 when a few men from the Pittsburgh heavy underground gathered in the name of the Doom Cult. Initially it was Justin Gizzi on guitars, Brian “Butch” Balich on vocals, and Wayne Massey as drummer. Justin played in bunch of bands before, and Brian is well-known as vocalist of such loud acts as Penance and Argus —  should I say that the project had great potential from the start?

However, Molasses Barge rested at pierce for years, but since 2017 they have shown good activity, recording, releasing, and performing live their hard down-tuned stuff with new members. The band’s up-to-date lineup consists of the original trio plus Amy Bianco (bass) and Barry Mull (guitars). Their new work A Grayer Dawn is damn hard and loud down-tuned doom metal, and I believe it fits well these strange times we live in. Continue reading »

Apr 052020


I nearly called this SHADES OF BLACK-PART 1, because I have a few albums I want to recommend and briefly review, in addition to the individual tracks and EPs I’ve collected here. I’m going to try to do that, but in looking at other things that are already in the works I’m not sure I can push myself to do it quickly. So we’ll see, but in the meantime I hope you’ll enjoy what follows. I believe that each of these six bands are making their first appearance at NCS.


The Belgian duo Alasthor claim inspiration from such bands as Marduk, Arkhon infaustus, Dissection, Gorgoroth, Funeral Mist, Nargaroth, and Mgla, and for their lyrical themes they draw upon studies and practices of the Left Hand Path. Their newest release, Mahapralaya, is a four-track offering that was revealed on March 24th. Continue reading »

Apr 052020


For most of us time is no longer like a methodically ticking clock, the days no longer marked by the calendar or the forward motion from one scheduled routine to the next. Instead it’s like a disorienting fog, the days running into each other, each one like the one before and the one after, to the point where it’s easy to forget what day it is, or what the point is — other than to stay away from other people. The calendar says today is a Sunday, but it might as well be a Monday or a Friday. So why not have a premiere today?

The one we have is a skin-shivering track named “Kind of God” from the Greek death metal band Skarz off their debut album What Remains, which is set for release on April 21st by the triumvirate of Satanath Records, More Hate Productions, and Exhumed Records. Continue reading »

Apr 042020



I bit off more than I can chew. As you may recall, in Part 1 of this post yesterday I included 12 new songs and videos arranged alphabetically by band name, which took us from A through F. At that point I had 11 more songs and videos in mind for Part 2, with band names from F through W. Of course, Friday has become a “release day”, not only for new albums but also for new “singles”, so by day’s end that original group of 11 swelled in size based on new things I spotted.

Not having started work on Part 2 yesterday, and having spent more than 3 hours last night on a Zoom happy hour with all my day-job co-workers, I find myself on a woozy Saturday morning daunted by the prospect of writing-up the now-expanded Part 2 list of 16. As you can see, I decided to get these first 6 (one of which is an even more last-minute addition) ready to go before the day wears on too much longer. We’re still going in alphabetical order, and this Part 2 takes us up to P.

At this point I don’t know when or if I’ll finish the list with the 10 songs still left, because I need to make time for tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK. Stay tuned… but more importantly, be well and stay safe…. Continue reading »

Apr 032020


(Two weeks ago (hereNeill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood) shared with us and you a list of musical suggestions to help us get through the current “end of the world” times, and today he follows that with another selection.)

So not a hell of a lot has changed since the last time I sat down to do one of these. Seems that a lot of you are still stuck at home, bitching and moaning that you’re bored while another batch of you (myself included) is considered “essential” and stuck being out with the public every day, most of whom have no real reason to be out of their house except “boredom”. These are the same assholes who’re going to be shocked they’re waiting for a ventilator in a few weeks while the poor sap who never finished college who’s behind whatever counter (me again) still has to go to work without extra pay, wishing they/we/I could be at home or at the very least stop being told by our jobs to be grateful we still have them while the “Today Show” has some montage about how essential employees are “heroes”, a sentiment not reflected in the majority of their paychecks.

That shit-show aside, I’ve compiled a few bands and labels that, since you have the time, are worth your consideration. Hopefully you find something interesting you haven’t heard before or you think my taste is pure horseshit and are moved to compile your own lists.  Either way it gives you something to emotionally invest in for a few minutes while you try to figure out what household item you can use to wipe your ass with. Continue reading »

Apr 032020


The vision of the cover art for the long-awaited new album by Australia’s Order of Orias would have demanded our attention, wholly apart from the lasting memories of their tremendous contribution to a split with Aosoth in 2015 and their 2011 debut album Inverse. It would have fit well in our long-defunct series “Eye-Catchers”, in which visual art alone was the basis for investigating new music.

In this instance, however, it was the opportunity to premiere a song from Ablaze in advance of its April 30 release by W.T.C. Productions that provided the occasion for investigation, and that song alone proves that the five-year wait for new music from this talented black metal duo has been richly rewarded. Continue reading »

Apr 032020


(Andy Synn has again assembled reviews and streams of new albums for this release-day Friday that might not be getting the attention they deserve elsewhere.)

People seemed to enjoy this the last time I did it, so I thought to myself… why not keep the streak alive?

So here we go, trying to go two for two, with another quick round-up of releases which you may otherwise have missed! Continue reading »

Apr 032020


We begin another mega-roundup today to assist you in enduring your shut-in time, with a second installment planned for Saturday. Long on music and short on words, it’s arranged alphabetically by band name. We have A-F today, and F through W tomorrow, unless an X, Y, or Z band surfaces between now and then.

Lots of old friends in this Part I, and some new names, a scattering of both big names and obscure ones, as well as a mix of genres. Almost everything here surfaced in the last few days. This time I added some artwork thumbnails, but don’t get used to that. It takes time I usually don’t have when I compile these monster collections.

ALKYMIST (Denmark)

Ugly, sludgy riffing that moans and groans… methodical drum pounding… grotesque, gritty growls and terrifying howls… a meaty bass line combined with eerie ringing notes… flares of evil braying chords rising up like a death anthem and descending like a plague gouging its way into the body… and then the guitar begins to pulse and the drums begin to hammer and rock… and things get fairly demented and frightening near the end before a final bout of gouging, groaning, and pounding. Really, the whole song is evil…. Continue reading »

Apr 022020


Given the usual volume of verbiage we unload in introducing premieres, there’s a better-than-even chance it would take you longer to read what we have to say than to listen to this new Henry Kane song. So, let’s speed things up:


Got that?

Okay, here’s “My Sweet Escape“: Continue reading »

Apr 022020


(We present DGR’s typically detailed review of Obscene Repressed, the new album by the French maulers in Benighted, which will be released by Season of Mist on April 10th.)

It probably doesn’t need to be stated that we’re fans of the French death metal crew Benighted and their brand of frantic mania, especially given that we’ve kept a pretty constant eye on the crew from release to release. Thus, we’ve been patiently waiting for the group’s newest album Obscene Repressed, a thematically twisted concept album that reads part horror story, part Pornhub top video statistics by State chart, and part gleeful exploration of insanity with the music stylings to back it up. Continue reading »