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Usnea: Random Cosmic Violence

This album has been generating lots of positive press and it's easy to see why. The music is ethereal and trippy, an original and creative version both of sludge metal and doom metal. It's also very ambitious. The songs are all over twelve minutes long and they all feature a fascinating array of musical sounds and moods. Listeners who think they've heard it all will come away from this release feeling like they've been stretched and challenged in all sorts of ways.

I admired this album's overall ambition. There are times when things feel very spontaneous and exciting. I particularly enjoyed the way the band members seemed to suddenly discover some very engaging rhythms within the overall chaos. At times, things feel a bit too spontaneous, as though the band members were all jamming on the weirdest things they could come up with. At other times, the music felt controlled and disciplined. The result is mostly exciting, but is also occasionally plodding. As I listened, I felt like I was discovering the music alongside the musicians in the studio. As much as I enjoyed that, I think it would have also been good to settle things down a bit, to give listeners a bit more of a hook on which to hang their sense of what each song is trying to do. Check out the title track and "Detritus."

Track Listing:
1. Lying in Ruin
2. Healing Through Death
3. Random Cosmic Violence
4. Detritus

Added: December 13th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1258
Language: english

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