We’ve met Usnea before on their split with Ruins. This, coupled with their début album, (which is absolutely amazing, by the way), means that Random Cosmic Violence is an album that I have high expectations of indeed.
Usnea write riffs that are huge Blackened tsunami’s of tar and malevolent urges. This is Doom that’s as colossal as it is unfriendly. The Black Metal influence is still a definite part of their sound, albeit a little less closer to the surface on this release.
Multiple vocal styles of attack are present on this; from high-pitched screams, to bowel-shaking growls, to spoken word, to haunting cleans.
The interesting thing about Usnea is that their songs may be monolithic slabs of shaded darkness, but importantly they can write actual songs; the shortest track here is just over 12 minutes in length but Usnea have an exceptional ability to write songs that are catchy.
It may sound strange for a band like this, but the winding melodies really seep into your brain and it’s easy to find yourself humming along with the tunes. This was a hallmark of their début and they’ve carried this over to their second album with great aplomb.
The dark atmospheres that the band create are a pleasure to explore. Each track has its own personality, character and place on the album.
Everything about this album screams quality, longevity and depth. The songs draw you in and mesmerise. Even on first listen you know you’re dealing with a truly special album, and after multiple listens it’s confirmed; Usnea are just fucking brilliant.
What more can I say? If you like interesting, heavy music then this is essential.