Friday, October 24, 2014
Usnea: Random Cosmic Violence
Seems like they are even darker and doomier than before, this sacrificed a little of the death metal element from the first album, but that is fine by me as they have open a new door to a different dimension of sounds. The drone of the spoken vocals at the beginning of "Lying in Ruin" is not far removed from something you might find on an older Atriarch album.The vocals often take on a more maniacal Graves at Sea type scream.Like we say about most extremely heavy bands the weight that they hit you with has so much momentum the first song is going to wow you regardless of how original it is or isn't just out of sheer heaviness.On the merits of the crushing riffs at the eight and a half minute mark alone, the song wins me over.
The snarl of the vocals hits you firs on "Healing Through Death", they are going to need to pull out more tricks here as I am now used to their rumble. What the band has going against them in terms of how much actual play I will get from this album, is the fact all of the songs ...and there are four of them, clock in at at least 12 minutes the longest 15. With doom that's not too long considering how they take there time getting from one not to the next .I would almost say they are sludged out doom, rather than funereal doom, which has a more romantic mourning to it.They touch on a few of these melodic passage,but are more
interested in crushing you.At the seven minute mark they briefly at a melodic funereal doom melody, but resort to being more punishing.
The clean guitar intro of the title track kinda falls out of the previous song. The low drone of the vocal chant follows before the slowly bring the distortion on harsh vocals. One of the more dynamic songs as they quickly switch from clean tones to an aggressive death metal influence stomp.They speed up in full
blown blackened death metal, as their death metal roots come out and they are unable to maintain the plodding tempo.
It closes with a more standard doom piece "Detritus". It takes a slightly angular take on a doom riff midway through but mainly rumbles along the road more frequently travelled. I think this album's strength is they are a death metal band coming at doom from a different perspective rather than guy who have spent their lives worshiping Black Sabbath.I'll give this one an 8, the last songs is them taking the easy way out but, if you like really mean doom in the vein of Graves at Sea, but more melodic, then check these dudes out.