Feb 012023

Venomous Concept


I have just enough time for a quick mid-week round-up of recommended new songs and videos. There have been a lot of new things this week so far, but that’s par for the course. These four happened to be among the ones I impulsively checkws out this morning. Hope you dig ’em all!


I have a soft spot in my head heart for Venomous Concept, so I’m beginning with the new video for “Fractured“, the third one released in the run-up to their new album The Good Ship Lollipop.

The song was inspired by some troubles Shane went through during the upheavals of the pandemic and his efforts to pull the pieces back together. He wrote this, which will explain the imagery in the video:

“Music was always my comfort, but during this time my family needed me to be strong and I really wasn’t. I was breaking apart and trying to figure out how to put myself back together, and hopefully leave some of the bad bits behind. “Memories came—my childhood, my parents, my family, my children, my friends. Then the words to ‘Fractured’ came… I am still piecing myself back together, trying to be just good enough.”

Continue reading »

Jan 162022


This weekend hasn’t been conducive to my NCS plans. I didn’t have time yesterday morning to post a round-up of new songs and videos, only time enough to share some artwork and news. During Saturday afternoon I plowed through a lot of new tracks and videos that mostly surfaced over the last week, and found a whopping 23 of them that I enjoyed to varying degrees.

Obviously, that’s way too many to post about, even for an OVERFLOWING STREAMS type of round-up. Some sifting was required. But sifting takes time, and for reasons I won’t bore you with it turns out that free time has been in very short supply this weekend. What to do?

Well, what I decided to do was just to say Fuck It and foist all 23 of those songs and videos upon you, with almost no commentary about the music and not even the usual links and artwork, just a small amount of info about the releases that include them. Even with that approach I’m dubious that I’ll get everything ready to go before I have to depart my computer for the rest of the day. So I alphabetized everything by band name and cut the group into two parts.

Part 2 might come tomorrow instead of later today. Sadly, I won’t have time for a SHADES OF BLACK column, though there is some black metal sprinkled through this giant collection, along with music across a big range of other sub-genres. Continue reading »

Jul 272019


Before finding an interview that confirmed my suspicions about the meaning of this band’s name, I engaged in some internet research. The results of much of my searching directed me to “the black maria“, despite the difference in spelling. “The black maria” was the colloquial name for horse-drawn police wagons, with the term’s origins dating back to the mid-1800s in New York City. It was pronounced in the same way as “the black moriah”. Other searches pointed me to Moriah, the Hebrew name for the mountain where, according to the Book of Genesis, God told Abraham to take his son Isaac and sacrifice him. But none of those references is correct.

Searching more thoroughly would lead you to tales of Tombstone, Arizona, a silver-mining boomtown that became emblematic of the lawlessness and violence of the Old West in the 1800s, most famously the site of The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and of the Boothill Graveyard, so named because most of the men buried there had “died with their boots on”. “The Black Moriah” was the name of the horse-drawn hearse that took many of those men to their final resting place on Boothill. The actual hearse is now housed in Tombstone’s Bird Cage Theater Museum, which was itself the site of an infamous brothel in those old lawless days.

And that horse-drawn hearse from Tombstone is in fact the source of the moniker for this North Texas band, who have embraced what old Tombstone came to stand for. Portraying themselves as a “horde of highwaymen”, they create “blackened thrash for a desert funeral”. The title of their latest album, Road Agents of the Blast Furnace, could serve as an alternate name for the band, because they do indeed sound like outlaws riding the wild roads of a sun-blistered land on horses from hell. Continue reading »

Feb 282013

(Our man BadWolf has made a couple of discoveries through Bandcamp and writes about them below.)

I wish Bandcamp forced artists to offer at least some of every release for download. I’ve stumbled across two short streams—one of a demo, and another of a short song collection—that I want to put on my iPod right fucking now. Sadly, life is not that easy.

The Black MoriahThe Black Moriah Promo

I wonder did they mean The Black Maria? Black Maria is an antiquated slang term for a hearse. Spell check ist not krieg! Perhaps this Dallas black-thrash quintet were just feeling cheeky. Continue reading »

Feb 242012

It’s not often I get an e-mail from a band that just says “For Your Damned Ears” with the band’s name and a web link . . . and that’s it. Well, really now, how could I resist? Especially when the band refer to themselves as “Road Agents of the Blast Furnace” or “a horde of highwaymen, hell-bent on Vulture Culture” (I found that out later when I visited that web link). The answer is, I didn’t resist.

The band’s name is The Black Moriah. They’re from North Texas and they “drink the spirits of past greats Bathory, Kreator, Motorhead, Slayer, [and] Venom,” or so though say, though I’m inclined to believe them.

They include former members of bands such as Absu, Bleed the Son, Psychiatric Regurgitation, and Aversion To Life. They’ve recorded and recently self-released a three-song demo called Casket Prospects, with the following track titles: “Casket Prospects”, “Chained and Confined”, and “Watch My Town Burn”. They got some skills. Looks like they may have some knives, too.

They can also rev the thrash engines into the red zone. The title track proves that, with vicious riffs, rapid-fire bass, snare-heavy drums with crashing cymbals, hard-driving pistons, a rusted exhaust pipe belching putrid smoke, and infernally blackened vocals. Irresistible headbang material. Continue reading »