Work has commenced on our fourth record. Ethan at Heavy Talent is also working on a US tour for summer 2019. In the meantime, catch us at one of our regional shows this Spring and here is video taken by Frank Huang at St Vitus, NYC in September at our show there with Monolord and ILSA.
We are excited to announce Fall 2018 tour dates throughout North America, including shows with Monolord and Basilica Soundscape.
September 8 – Boston, MA @ O’Brien’s
September 10 – Brooklyn, NY @ St Vitus w/ Monolord
September 11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ Monolord
September 12 – Montclair, NJ @ Meat Locker
September 14 – Hudson, NY @ Basilica Soundscape
September 15 – Montreal, QC, Canada @ Casa de Popolo
September 16 – Toronto, ON, Canada @ Coalition
September 17 – Syracuse, NY @ Spark Art Space
September 18 – Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Tavern
September 19 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox
September 20 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
September 21 – Washington, DC @ Atlas Brew Works
Our guitarist Justin wrote this tour diary about the recent West Coast jaunt we did with Seattle’s UN. Check it out here!
USNEA w/ Un:
3/23/2018 Twilight Bar – Portland, OR w/ Sól
3/24/2018 Golden Bull – Oakland, CA w/ Body Void, Swamp Witch, CHRCH
3/25/2018 Hi-Hat – Los Angeles, CA w/ SKYEATER, Pendulous
3/27/2018 Space Bar – San Diego, CA w/ Sixes
3/28/2018 Club Paradise – Tijuana, MX w/ Iwokk, Dhatüra
3/29/2018 El Rio – San Francisco, CA w/ Atone, Malefic Levitation
3/30/2018 Blue Lamp – Sacramento, CA w/ CHRCH, Occlith
3/31/2018 Naked Lounge – Chico, CA w/ Shadow Limb
Usnea have been back from Europe for a little over a month, many thanks are due to all of the folks who put together the tour, befriended us, fed us, supported us and made it all so great and most of all to UFOMAMMUT! We will forever love those guys.
So we have a few Winter shows booked and then nothing until Spring 2018 when we are touring the West Coast for the first time since 2015 with our good friends from Seattle, Un (https://unvibes.bandcamp.com/). Hopefully we cross your path and in the meantime enjoy the harshest music during the darkest and harshest time of year.
We are flying to Europe tonight to commence this long-anticipated tour with our great friends Ufomammut. Check out their poster below for dates and if you are in the path of this we hope to see you!
If you’re in Portland tonight, we hope to see you at our album release tonight!
Here is an interview our vocalist/guitarist, Justin, did with Drunk In A Graveyard: https://drunkinagraveyard.com/2017/09/14/thursdayusnea/
The album comes out tomorrow!! You can order it here: bit.ly/UsneaPIF
Here is the full stream and a write up by Grim Kim: https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/mbbz84/usneas-impossibly-heavy-new-doom-metal-album-is-a-sci-fi-odyssey
And here is the Decibel write up and the premiere of Eidolons and the Increate with a video visualizer by Frank Huang:
From Invisible Oranges (http://www.invisibleoranges.com/usnea-pyrrhic-victory/)
“The video for Usnea’s new song “Pyrrhic Victory” asks a question that it knows that it cannot answer: what good is societal progress if it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem of human cruelty? If we are living at the end of history — to borrow a phrase from Francis Fukuyama — what do we have to show for it? The prospect of nuclear war and looming environmental collapse? Radical. Nice job, humanity.
Using found footage, Usnea place the image of a woman being hung next to a series of studies of the human brain. While “Pyrrhic Victory” isn’t a narrative, the implication is that no matter how much we advance, we have yet to find away to prevent human beings from inflicting pain on one another. Viciousness (and the suffering it causes) is so pervasive that any progress must be seen as a pyrrhic victory against the devils of our nature.
This is heavy shit, even for a band as sonically dense as Usnea. The Portland, Oregon-based doom act are no strangers to weighty themes, or equally weighty tones. Portals Into Futility, their upcoming record, is thick with both. Although it starts and ends with full force, the majority of “Pyrrhic Victory” is more subdued — and don’t mistake “subdued” for soft. The song’s lengthy bridge may not be as heavily distorted, but it’s no less suffocating. Using a mixture of guitar tones, including something that sounds like an E-Bow, and with the pace of a tank stuck in mud, Usnea turn the song into an impenetrable murk.
This might not scan as heavy in the traditional sense, too slow for a proper headbang and too drawn out for a raised pair of horns, but the psychological effect is the same as any traditional riff-fest. It is a sonic burden, one that leaves the listener unmoored from the song’s structure. When the band gives shape to the song’s conclusion, they still don’t offer easy catharsis. The song’s stuttering climax gradually folds over itself until the band’s instruments crumble into digital distortion. Is “Pyrrhic Victory” a difficult question left hanging, or an uncomfortable and pessimistic answer?”
USNEA: Share New Song “Lathe of Heaven”; Announce Full Album Details
Portland doom quartet USNEA have announced the full details of their third full-length album entitled Portals Into Futility. Inspired by dystopian science-fiction and the painful intersection of today’s crushing reality, Portals Into Futility is 5 songs and 56 minutes of expertly crafted and elegantly depressive doom/sludge. With an evolved sound of strength and dynamism, USNEA delve more into the worlds of dissonant death metal, varied vocal structures and cinematic composition, all while maintaining the monumental heaviness, brutality, discord, anger, and mournful melodicism of their previous work. Across dark and brooding peaks and valleys, USNEA remind us that no matter how many doors are opened to the human species, our self-aggrandizement and hubris all lead to futility.
Portals Into Futility is due out September 8 on CD/2xLP/Digital via Relapse Records. A complete tracklisting is included below.
USNEA Commented on the new song: ““Lathe of Heaven” was inspired the eponymous book by Ursula K Le Guin. It is a meditation on the blurred line between cognitive reality and delusion wherein the protagonist can change reality through dreaming. A well-intentioned psychologist attempts to corral that power but ends up creating more chaos and suffering. In the end, human arrogance and greed are shown to be the leading contributors to our own doom.”
Additionally, USNEA will tour throughout Europe dates this Fall as direct support for Ufomammut. The tour commences on September 30 in Paris and ends October 22 in Munich while hitting 19 different cities. The tour includes appearances at multiple festivals including Up In Smoke, Doornroosje Festival and Keep It Doom. The band will also perform an exclusive US set at Psycho Las Vegas on August 18. A complete listing of dates is available below.
Portals Into Futility will be released worldwide September 8 on CD/2xLP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical pre-orders and exclusive bundles are currently available via Relapse.com at this location and digital pre-orders are available via Bandcamp HERE.
Album Art Credit: Orion Landau and Justin Cory
Portals Into Futility Tracklist:
1. Eidolons and the Increate
2. Lathe of Heaven
3. Demon Haunted World
4. Pyrrhic Victory
5. A Crown of Desolation
USNEA Tour Dates:
Aug 18 Las Vegas, NV Psycho Las Vegas
— All dates Sep 30 – Oct 22 With Ufomammut —
Sep 30 Paris, FR La Boule Noire
Oct 01 Nantes, FR Le Ferrailleur
Oct 03 London, UK Borderline
Oct 04 Brussels, BE Magasin 4
Oct 05 Wiesbaden, DE Schlachthof
Oct 06 Pratteln, CH Up In Smoke
Oct 07 Nijmegen, NL Soulcrusher Festival @ Doornroosje Festival
Oct 08 Bielefed, DE Forum
Oct 10 Oslo, NO Blitz
Oct 11 Stockholm, SE Klub Undergangen
Oct 13 Helsinki, FI Korjaamo Blowup VOL 3
Oct 14 Tampere, FI Olympia-Kortelli
Oct 16 Copenhagen, DK KB 18
Oct 17 Berlin, DE Lido
Oct 18 Hamburg, DE Markthalle
Oct 19 Leipzig, DE Werk 2
Oct 20 Wroclaw, PL Firley
Oct 21 Prag Checkt, DE 007
Oct 22 Munich, DE Keep It Doom