Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Usnea - Bathed In Light


Usnea are back! Bathed In Light is the funeral doom quartets first album in four years and its a crusher. While the doom metal scene has changed pretty dramatically since Usnea's last offering, Bathed In Light shows the band continuing to build on their slower than life, crushing sound that first enamored fans when they rolled onto the scene in 2011. This album feels like a fitting next step for a group that have stayed so true to their roots. It's hard not to be enamored with the darkness they've inspired and the layers of heaviness that keep them so interesting. 

Bathed In Light fascinates because of not just the heaviness of the guitar tone but the general sense of despair that the band is able to so easily communicate. There is a depravity and a sense of fate in the bands discography that keeps me coming back. Bathed In Light is just another addition to that legacy of sorrow. This is also perhaps the bands most fully fleshed out work to date. Songs like "Premediatio Malorum" reflect a new era of darkness in the music and a crushing use of dynamics that the band had perhaps not been able to deploy before. As a result, Usnea's blackened funeral doom has gotten all the more punishing, a reflection of sorrow to come. 

For those of us who miss the peak of the doom scene back in 2014-2015, this feels like a return to that era. It showcases a wonderfully heavy band who are unleashing plodding and terrifying tenterhooks guaranteed to drag you to Tartarus. Bathed In Light is the sound of the world ending, and with it, Usnea prove once more that they are among the best doing it today, with a vision and approach that few of their peers could really ever emulate. This is funeral doom done right, and the heart rending dirges that define them just keep getting sadder.

Pre-order the album!

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