What you need to take into account when looking at the grade “Random Cosmic Violence” has received is that what USNEA play, is not my cup of tea at all. But, getting past my personal preferences, let’s take a look at what USNEA have objectively managed to achieve.

First things first, they have managed to create an excruciating piece of blackened/sludgy “doom”. The quotations are used because their relationship with doom revolves primarily around the feeling of doom (the realistic doom of despair) and not so much the music genre. And to be frank, they are good with creating a chest-hurting, depression causing doom atmosphere in this album. “Lying In Ruin” for instance was a very hard to swallow music experience, a miserable creation lurking in the shadows and crawling out of a grave with intentions to destroy any sense of comfort you might have.

The long durations give USNEA the room to build their complex ideas, since all four songs are multilayered and, in a twisted sense, theatrical. They rely on building an ominous sensation (like in the acoustic intros of the self titled song and “Detritus”, intros that forebode nothing good is going to follow up) and then rave on with slow, mesmerizing riff that reek of sickness and despair, a sound quite fertile for the alternation between the guttural and the shrilling extreme vocals. Imagine an abysmal marriage between CULTES DES GHOULES and GRIEF, sort of.

While that patent works more than well, even for my taste, in “Healing Through Death”, sometimes I found myself reprimanding some of the riffs as being too simplistic, while when pushed a bit further they could have provoked some more interest. Then again, another thing they probably aim at is bleakness, so from that perspective they’ve also done well since those simple, grim and cacophonous sludge melodies gave me some mental discomfort. Then again, when they turn on their “blacker” side they  try to up the tempo with riffs that try to praise the element of the occult and the internal darkness, always filtered through an AHAB aesthetic.

Their production is very clear and every instrument has a distinct role. What is chaotic is not their sound, but more the feeling they try –and manage- to evoke. So, at the end of the day, if you are into blackened sludge or any combination from the stuff that have been mentioned above; and if in general you enjoy records that are a test to your emotional limits and serve the purpose of waking up ominous and pessimistic sentiments and thoughts, give “Random Cosmic Violence” a spin.

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