Portland doombringers USNEA spawned in late 2011 from the cerebral minds of Justin Cory (Guitar & Vocals), Johnny Lovingood (Guitar), Zeke Rogers (Drums) and Joel Williams (Bass, Vocals). The quartet has proven to be a seismic level force of destructive creativity with a massive yet meditative sound, masterfully crafted songwriting, and a clear yet non-derivative influence from doom legends such as Disembowelment, My Dying Bride, Neurosis and YOB.
USNEA released their eponymous, self-titled debut album in February 2013 on Roger’s own label Orca Wolf Records. Following a 7” EP split with Ruins, USNEA signed to Relapse Records and released Random Cosmic Violence in November 2014. Random Cosmic Violence’s immense presence instantly elevated USNEA to the forefront of the blossoming American doom scene. Stereogum referred to Random Cosmic Violence as having a “Floydian vastness that both balances and amplifies the overwhelming, crushing heaviness. Like the night sky itself, it’s full of terror and awe and ice and fire. It is a massive, monumental thing.” USNEA spent the next couple years touring in support of the record alongside veteran acts such as Ufomammut and Inverloch plus appearances at notable festivals including Maryland Deathfest, Roadburn Festival and Modified Ghost Festival.
Now in 2017, USNEA returns with their third full-length album, Portals Into Futility, in September 2017. 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. An array of sci-fi novels that are becoming more and more of a reality in these volatile times informed the band’s writing throughout the album, including “Shadow of the Torturer” by Gene Wolfe, “Lathe of Heaven” by Ursula K Le Guin, “Valis” by Philip K Dick, “Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, “Demon Haunted World” by Carl Sagan, and “Dune” by Frank Herbert. Portals Into Futility was recorded with Fester and assistant Andrew Grosse at Caravan Recordings and Haywire Studios in Portland, OR and mastered by Adam Gonsalvez at Telegraph Audio. 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.
Justin Cory – Guitar, Vocals
Johnny Lovingood – Guitar
Joel Williams – Bass, Vocals
Zeke Rogers – Drums