Usnea – “Random Cosmic Violence” (Relapse Records)
Screaming doom noise from the sludge gutters of Portland, Oregon! Thankfully there are only 4 tracks on this album – but boy are they heavy muthas!! Each clocking in around 15 mins a piece, together they make a massive wall of noise characterized by mammoth distorted guitars with heaps of distortion and reverb – in fact so much that I can barely hear the bass (do they need one lol – ed) – and Zeke Rogers who is clearly content to demolish his drum kit by knocking 7 bells out’ve it after each take. With twin vocals from Joel Williams and Justin Cory contrasting guttural drawls with banshee screamola aplenty on songs like ‘Healing Through Death’ and the nausea inducing ‘Detritus’, one is actually grateful for the tranquil interludes in between the noise drenched hysteria as the mind mulls lyrics like ‘…Yahweh, Mithra, Baal, Beelzebub. Delirium dreamt, darkness plunged, a great beyond, the vastest void…’?! Typically harsh befitting DIY punk / metal bands yet also impressively deep, “Random Cosmic Violence” is an immense second offering from Usnea – just don’t spend too much time thinking about how to say their name.