Want grit, heavy, opaque, twisting melodies with some beauty?! Usnea – Random Cosmic Violence

Relapse Records

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.

Heavy Metal Helps!

Hello world.

This is a platform for all things. Seriously. Freedom of speech and art. It will be most likely that this spot will be dedicated to all things heavy and light. What am I getting at…well, that I do not want to be limited to the spectrum of the title, heavymetalhelps – but it really does.

Individuals and society benefit from Heavy Metal. I see it everyday and within myself. Music is close to my heart and specifically, Heavy Metal. I have always been drawn to the heavy rumbling drums, fast guitars, slow guitars, effects, growls and the epic vocals. Not to mention the real, oppressive, and sometimes antithesis themes that heavy metal values.

Why am I writing this you may ask and I ask myself the same question. Well, I have realized I need an outlet. Going to shows, listening to music and creating music is one thing, but to be able to contribute to the community of heavy metal is another entirely.

That is why this blog/website is here. It is an outlet – a fanzine – a publication. Whatever one might call it, it is a step forward in a direction that came so easily and natural.

Below is the first edition of the Heavy Metal Helps radio show from the CITR studios. Songs are paired with research and quotes from fans and musicians on how this music has helped them.

Playlist:

Sanctuary – Exitium-The Year the Sun Died

Ahna – War Games-Imperial Decline split /Cetascean

Obituary – Bloodsoaked-Inked in Blood

Skull Vultures – Reclaim-Skull Vultures

Usnea – Healing Through Death-Random Cosmic Violence

Numenorean – Let Me In-Demo 2014

Pallbearer – Gloomy Sunday-Demo 2010