With a sonic template made up of sludge, post-metal and
interspersed with black/doom elements, Usnea have produced
a debut album that I can see on a lot of peoples end of year list.
This fusion mixes up bleak ominous passages with blast beats
of pure ferocity that creates a juggernaut of unstoppable mayhem.
There are moments of atmospheric, almost psychedelic ambience
which rather than just being there for the "loud/quiet" moments,
adds a musical depth that engages the listener. The raw vocals
do not overpower the music and are mixed in perfectly with the
instruments, leaving room for the guitars to echo in the background
or to explode with violence.
This album has an epic feel to it, helped by the lengthy running
time of the tracks, giving the music time to evolve within the structure
of the song passages.
USNEA’s self-titled LP fuses elements of funeral and death doom, sludge metal, black metal, and esoteric drone into an oppressive 30 minute journey of anger and despondency. Throughout, USNEA effortlessly walk a fragile line between the nastiness of sludge doom and the melodic, mournful sound of funeral doom, never allowing their sound to stay in one place too long. The use of dynamics is key on this album with nasty sludge riffs giving way to oppressively sad droning sections and (one) searing black metal interlude. This diversity of sound, texture and dynamics distinguish USNEA from the hordes of doom bands entering the scene today.
This self-titled LP features beautiful black and metallic silver artwork, a black and white 11x 22 poster and a download card with the LP tracks plus two bonus tracks (55 minutes of music in all). It was recorded at Haywire Studios by Fester (Atriarch, Stoneburner, Knelt Rote, Nux Vomica, Rabbits, etc), mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph Mastering and released in February, 2013 by
Orca Wolf Records.
USNEA formed in July, 2011 in Portland, Oregon and feature a current/former member of Amarok and The Makai. Since forming they have shared the stage with Yob, Bell Witch, Atriarch, Whitehorse, Stoneburner, Black Tusk and many more.
Members: Zeke Rogers - drums, Joel Williams - bass & vocals,
Johnny Lovingood - guitar, Justin Cory - guitar & vocals
Recommended for fans of: Neurosis, Thou, Laudanum, Khanate, Graves at Sea
Thanks to Orca Wolf Records for link.