May 242022


(The world turns, people leave us, and sometimes they come back. Florida-based Dan Barkasi wrote for NCS off and on in 2014-16, and now he has returned with the following interview of Serge Streltsov, the mastermind behind Pittsburgh-based Selfgod.)

Hard-hitting, uncompromising death metal is something that most who frequent NCS are kind of privy to. Just a tad, right? Mix that up with a dash of black metal underpinnings, and you have a recipe for something awfully delicious. Enter Selfgod.

The brainchild of Serge Streltsov (guitars/bass/vocals/keyboards), who plied his trade with Necrophagia and Automb in the past, you can hear how both of those bands played a part in shaping his new project Selfgod – quite literally, as you’ll soon read!

We discuss Selfgod’s debut release Born of Death in depth, along with Serge’s own story of his Ukrainian background and how his heritage is ingrained into both his music and daily life, and how he’s doing his part to help out those affected (and how you can, too). We also discuss Selfgod’s upcoming run of dates this month, the local scene in Pittsburgh, and other interesting topics. Continue reading »

Jul 202015



(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

June is long gone, but alas, there’s music that needs some light shed upon it!

Apologies for the delay on this one. Life finds a way – to get in the way of my getting this done faster. Thanks, Dr. Malcolm, for the line!

How good was June? It was loaded like a politician’s rhetoric, but not vomit-inducing. In other words, lots of audible goodies! A lot of styles represented, too, possibly being the month with the most diversity thus far.

Let it begin!


Chaotic as they are potent, Abyssal’s third album displays a band who continue to hone their craft to devastating effect. This sublime combination of black, death, and doom metal is so crushing that it gives a dinosaur a run for its money. There’s also a little bit more melody than the previous two discs, which is used to great effect. Continue reading »

May 132015

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Welcome back to Essential Entries. April has already passed, and it’s hard to believe. It feels like we – at least those unlucky enough to live in areas that deal with winter – were just freezing ourselves stiff, and now the temperatures are in the 80s. Thank goodness. Winter is awful. Thankfully, good music is the antithesis of such, and we’re loaded this month.

Also, my apologies for getting this up a bit late. Yours truly was out of town for over two weeks, and that resulted in a ton of catch-up listening in order to do this right. No way will this column ever be done half-heartedly!

With that out of the way, let’s get to the tunes.


Abyss – Heretical Anatomy

Gritty Canadian death metal. Abyss proves that it’s not all maple syrup and politeness up there. Equal parts catchy and punishing, this proves to be a great debut full-length. Continue reading »

Feb 152015


(In this post Dan Barkasi inaugurates a monthly series recommending music from the month just ended.)

Welcome, welcome, to the first edition of my monthly column, oh so cleverly titled Essential Entries. Classy and functional, right?

In a nutshell, the premise is to feature what particularly tickled my fancy every month. The plan is to get this out a little after each month is completed. Hopefully you’ll find something you’ll like, or simply have fantastic taste and know the stuff already! Either way, enjoy, and I encourage you to make a comment on what you particularly dug, or if there’s something you think yours truly missed.

Without further ado, here’s January, which was a pretty damn good way to kick off 2015.

A Swarm of the SunThe Rifts

Coming in at the very end of the month, and thankfully, this was caught in time to be included. Atmospheric and complex post-metal meets some doom, and it’s daunting in the best way. The vocals are especially fitting, the piano sections are mesmerizing, and the whole vibe needs to be felt. Continue reading »

Feb 102015


(New NCS contribtor Dan Barkasi prepared this list of excellent 2014 releases that he overlooked (we also overlooked many of them) — and that are very much worth your attention if you missed them, too.)

Face it – no matter how much music one can cram into an entire year, there are going to be at least a couple of gems that somehow avoid you. You don’t know how, exactly, as some are blatantly obvious, while other omissions are merely the result of bad luck and/or timing. This is where we make up for said misses. These albums deserve some spotlight, too.

Presented in no particular order, here you go! Just know that there’s a bowlful of awesome here, so no ranking required this go-round.

AstrophobosRemnants of Forgotten Horrors

This is a very refreshing slab of black metal from these Swedes. Harkening back to the ’90s stylistically, prevalent melodic passages and frosty riffs rule the day. Sharp vocals and a high intensity wrap this up quite neatly. Continue reading »

Dec 282014


(Today we welcome Dan Barkasi to NCS. Dan plans to provide a monthly column on new metal releases that ring his chimes, and in this post he introduces himself with a year-end list of top albums and EPs.)

Hello, fine folks of NCS! My name is Dan Barkasi, and I’m a newcomer to this fine collection of music lovers. Who the hell are you, you say? Simply, you’re looking at a guy who – like yourself – has a very keen love of music. And, yeah, this guy tends to never shut up about it. But that’s good, as I get to share lots of goodies with you all!

I’ve been writing since 2003, am 32-years-old, and have been listening to the good stuff since I hit the ripe old impressionable age of 12.  So really, about two decades of living this sort of music. That makes one feel really old!

Anyways, the subject of this monthly column is going to be what’s been rotating that’s new and fresh in my scattered brain. Maybe a mention of some classics along the way, as well.

While thinking about what the best way to introduce myself to you fine folks, the conclusion was to cook up an extensive year-end list. You’ll get to know my musical preferences – which are all pretty damn eclectic – and maybe you’ll find a few gems that you may not have stumbled upon otherwise. Great! Enough of my blathering – to the tunes! Continue reading »