Lesbian are a peculiar band, and not just in name alone. This Seattle-based four piece is one of the more eclectic acts to grace progressive metal, touting influences based in doom metal, 70’s prog rock, black metal, and grunge. Combining all these seemingly disparate elements together may seem like an absurd task, but when psychedelics are involved, anything is possible. The group’s latest effort explores these sounds and more in the course of a single forty minute track, Forestelevision.
Forestelevision is as suitable a title as any considering the structure and content that lies within. Lesbian shuffle through genres and moods as if flipping through channels while doped out on cough syrup. ADD applied to metal has allowed for the creation of some very off-the-wall music, but few approach this attention deficit as slowly evolving as Lesbian. At a whopping 44 minutes, Forestelevision crawls and plods along throughout a myriad of vignettes and experimentation in a way that is as challenging as it is awe-inspiring. Typically, spoiler alerts don’t apply to music. However, given the nature of Forestelevision, the surprises that may lie around the corner upon first listen can make for an exhilarating experience. Going in blind yields the best results, but for those in need of more convincing may read on.
The album first opens to trudging doom metal riffs with vocals bringing to mind the likes of a young Ihsahn before giving way to riffing not out of place on a King Crimson record. These motifs continue to grow and change form through solos and synth leads in epic fashion. It isn’t until halfway through Forestelevision when the band picks up considerable speed and begins to sound like something in the realm of post-blackened thrash before bottoming out again in a breakdown not unheard of from death metal greats Suffocation.
And this is just the tamer side of the group. Things get downright bizarre in the album’s second climactic half. Following a barrage of math rock, sludge, and oddball soundtrack work that would expect to hear in an episode of Scooby-Doo, the band pulls off a shockingly convincing King Diamond impression almost out of nowhere, falsetto screams and power metal galloping riffs included. The band closes the show in an explosive crescendo of tremolo picked power chords and blasts of cymbals. Even with the considerable length, the fact that the band were able to make such a strange transformation from bleak doom to triumphant classic metal feel so natural is deserving of praise.
As excessive or self-indulgent as Forestelevision may seem, the ideas explored within are often captivating and epic as much as they are crushing and brutal. This is a culmination of all the insanity found throughout rock and metal condensed into a single epic track, and on more than one occasion can elicit a mouthing of “what the fuck am I listening to?” Those with enough patience to sit through Forestelevision will be left confused and disoriented, but compelled enough to go back for a second helping.
Lesbian – Forestelevision gets…