Usnea - Usnea (2013)

This debut excels in its variety.  While the majority of the record falls into the doom metal camp, black metal interludes occasionally make an appearance.  These are certainly genres of music where mastery of one doesn't imply a particular musical disposition for exceptional crafting ability in the style of the other; however, just like all good musicians, the group makes both "sides" of the album emotive and interesting to the listener, and the transition between each relatively seamless.  It's also relevant to note that even the doom portions segue between the majestic and oppressive (think funeral) to old-school, devil-worshiping Sabbathian jams.  For those who follow the scene, it may make sense to think of this as existing on the opposite side of the black metal coin as Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult's also good 2013 record (Necrovision), an album of unwavering second-wave punishment.  Usnea isn't afraid to mix it up a bit.   

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