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Usnea: Random Cosmic Violence

Portland doomsters prove a few elegies short of a funeral

In funeral doom it’s more the space between the notes than the actual heaviness that matters.

As utterly bleak and thus one-dimensional as it may sound to some, you need a genuine sense of emotion. Although they’re not your typical funeral doom – this lot has more of a punk/DIY background and owes a debt to sludge – Usnea’s second full-length fails to let it resonate. Whereas Usnea’s buddies in Asunder or Graves At Sea manage to let a true sense of dread transpire throughout their music, there’s not enough going on beneath Random Cosmic Violence’s rotten soil to sustain your attention. Sure, when they turn the distortion off and get rid of the irritating rasping voice, they reach a much more convincing level of solemnity, but there are too many moments on this 58-minute marathon where you wish you were listening to something more gripping.

Released via Relapse Records