Lesbian
Forestelevision

Lesbian has been on my radar since their 2008 split with the amazing doom band Ocean. From there I snagged 2007’s awesome Power Hor, and anxiously awaited 2010’s killer Stratospheria Cubensis. So when I heard 2013 would bring a 45 minute, single track full-length titled Forestelevision, I was stoked.

Lesbian are an odd group. They blend elements of Progressive, Doom, Sludge, Stoner Rock, Black Metal, Post-Metal, and Psychedelia. They aren’t overwhelmingly any of these things, but they are definitely there. If you want Electric Wizard meets Graveyard meets Ocean meets Rush, and who wouldn’t, you’ve found it.

Every minute of Forestelevision would feel out of place in a lesser band’s hands, but somehow Lesbian continues to break down boundaries and expand their repertoire to places they’ve yet to go. It begins in its infancy as a crawling, massive, sorrow drenched doomfest, replete with growled vocals and chords stretched to the limits of the guitars sustain. At the 8 minute mark, Forestelevision shifts abruptly yet smoothly into decidedly more Stoner territory with big, crunchy, head bobbing riffs. Suddenly there’s dueling Progressive leads over the backbone of thumping bass and drums. There are a few moments where the transitions are less than subtle, like at the 13:48 mark where it just seems they couldn’t figure out how to move from riff to riff, so they just did. These missteps are few and far between in the grand scheme of things. Things get post-metally and spacey at the 20 minute mark, then seamlessly evolve back to the Stoner jams. A little avant-garde here, some screams there, then the 25 minute mark blows the doors down with a huge Sludge riff. It fits here so unexpectedly and perfectly and reminds you how heavy this band actually is. We get Psychedelic, then Progressive, then even a little Post-Rock, and then a buildup to the last 9 minutes of the album which are again a stylistic change we haven’t been to yet.

Soaring high singing, a rollicking jam band riff, Progressive leaning leads, choral feeling vocals, some vicious Black Metal tinged screams, and then it’s the end of every The Who concert ever, where fast strumming, feedback, and cymbal crashing all coalesce into the final rite of Pete Townshend smashing his instrument to bits and walking off stage. That’s the end of Forestelevision.

This record was molded to take you on a journey, though I’m not sure it’s clear where. A trippy romp in the woods? Space? A jaunt through the desert at night? I can’t tell. That’s not so much an indictment on the musicianship, since it is stellar, as it is on the lack of focal point for the album. It’s all pretty great. I love Lesbian, I dig Forestelevision, I’ll listen to it a lot, and I’ll return to it for a long time, but I’m not sure it’ll make it into my top 10 for the year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick E
September 2nd, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Picked this up used in TX this week- very good stuff


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