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Just What is an Usnea Anyway?


UsneaUsnea are the kind of band whose name inspires hearty conversations about its correct pronunciation (see also: Necrophagist, Zoroaster, Allegaeon, Anaal Nathrakh). I submit the following options for your consideration:

  • YOU-snee-uh
  • OO-snee-uh
  • OOZ-nee-uh
  • oo-SNAY-uh
  • ooz-NAY-uh
  • US-nee-uh (“us” pronounced like “bus”)
  • us-NAY-uh
  • YOU-snee (the “-nea” taking the sound it does in “sea” and “hear”
  • OO-snee
  • OOZ-nee

The possibilities are endless! Sure, I could just consult Google (which tells me that usnea is “the generic and scientific name for several species of fruticose lichen in the family Parmeliaceae”) or even ask the band’s publicist. But what would be the fun in that? No one wants to be that guy who whips the phone out in the middle of dinner to settle the score. Arguing is way more fun!

In any case, Usnea might want to consider changing their name to Fucking-Rules-nea, because that’s what they do. Listen, the myriad Relapsian/Southern Lordian/Profound Loreian/etc doom bands on the scene today can sometimes have a way of blending together, but I made it through all 14 minutes of “Healing Through Death” and then I went back and listened to the entire thing again — and it was even better the second time. Super good! I especially dig the dynamic throughout, like when the band changes up completely around the 3:50 mark and brings it down a notch from the preceding tense vibe. Listen below and tell us what you think.

Random Cosmic Violence comes out on November 10th via Relapse Records and can be pre-ordered here.

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