Usnea, a Portland Oregon metal band, suggests on their Bandcamp that their second full length,Random Cosmic Violence is “one of those rare records that elevates itself above the boundaries that its genre typically self-imposes.” This is evident on Random Cosmic Violence as it takes a journey through funeral doom, black metal, sludge, death and doom genres. The album clocks in at just under an hour with only four songs. Justin Cory and Orion Landau crafted the album’s artwork, which is simple yet grand.
The rhythm and lyrics of the entire album are tribal in nature with twisting transfixed melodies and a rhyme similar to a beat poet. There are several highlights elevated by vocals drenched with grit, such as the opening of “Healing Through Death.” The title track does exactly what the title suggests. The lyrics are opaque and the sound is piercing and heavy. Usnea even adds acoustic guitar to the mix to calm the spirits before hurling down the cosmic highway with rolling drums. Usnea want to “explore the universe for the origin of how this all happened” and if you yearn for that journey, you should listen along.
By Serena Navarro
Thanks to Beatroute for providing the album to review.