Lesbian: Forestelevision

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Lesbian: Forestelevision
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Lesbian: Forestelevision
Progressive Doom Metal, Stoner Metal
Translation Loss Records
June 25th, 2013
Release length: 44:11
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Progressive Doom/Stoner Metal group Lesbian has had a rather rocky start as far as their critics have perceived them. Forged out of Seattle, Washington in 2004, and were signed to Holy Mountain Records in 2007 to issue their one hour plus debut album, Power Hor. The band was later picked up by Important Records to issue their follow-up, Stratospheria Cubensis. For 2013, the band find themselves with Translation Loss Records, the perfect home for their brand of music, as well as their third album, Forestelevision. This is a forty-four minute one track opus that is taking the internet by storm thanks to small cuts of the track being streamed on various sites. But, is this truly one consistent song, or is this just a bunch of cuts crammed together that don’t mesh the further you go?

“Forestelevision” starts off with some ambient effects that one might expect from an early eighties Science Fiction flick, opening with a vast emptiness littered with synths that come off like the twinkling of distant stars. Eventually it gives way to crushing riffs and a stern guttural shouting, moving to a creeping, burdening pace that is simply burdening thanks to the rougher audio quality. Around ten minutes in, the pace picks up. The guitars become slightly altered, and harmonized vocals can be heard in the background. This shifts the focus from ominous to a tighter Stoner Rock presence that feels like being on a wild hallucinogenic trip within a forest, surrounded by mythical creatures that begin to shift and distort into vile, unrecognisable horrors. Fifteen minutes in, you find a nice classical piece thrown in for good measure, bridging into some softer, almost depressive slower pace music that also begins to warp, even grow louder before crashing back into a more intimidating Doom Metal performance littered with atmospheric leads.

About twenty-six minute in, things change up again, moving to a far more upbeat performance that will immediately have you banging your head along. This is only a brief bit of happiness, as the song begins demanding your attention, then shifting into a truly chaotic, almost Avant-Garde section with random synth effects and dirty, aggressive Sludge Metal riffs that continue moving your head to the rhythm for you. The intensity continues to grow until thirty-two minutes in, where we are met with another softer passage that is bridged in well enough to make the peaceful euphoria feel fluid enough to the performance. The clean, crystal-like guitars sound wonderful against the catchy, slower drum beat. This doesn’t stay soothing for too long, as a subtle richness can be felt before crashing into what seems like the start of a brand new track, and it’s out of nowhere. The aggressive, gritty, and often nightmarish scenarios laid out before take a back seat to the obvious early Mercyful Fate influence that seems more like plagiarism. The music ushers in some catchy early Heavy Metal riffs and loses much of the burdening atmosphere, and the vocals even become clean singing with distant falsettos thrown in, eventually taking a slightly grand stance that continues until the last few minutes when rhaspy Black Metal-esque vocals kick in against harsher music and background chanting.

Aside the one already mentioned, there are times where you can feel as if the band just shifted into another song, such as around the twenty minute mark. The sudden change to aggression and catchier, somewhat hypnotic guitars and drumming really does come out of nowhere. But, this isn’t all that bad a change, as the atmosphere is still there, even if the music doesn’t seem to truly fit the overall scheme. The slower sections can also feel like little interludes that would be their own track, such as around the thirty-two minute mark with the simple shift out of the intensity at that time.

Do not be fooled into believing that this is just one long Sludge and Doom Metal inspired offering. One spin through Forestelevision will show that these are a few songs merged together through various bridges, some clearly just being interlude songs they managed to stem together. But, this isn’t that bad a decision for this release, as most of the time it’s done well enough that you won’t notice one song transitioning into another until the last twenty minutes. Lesbian really do bring a commanding performance throughout the release, but it’s that final Mercyful Fate bit that comes out of nowhere and honestly sounds like something off Don’t Break the Oath that I just can’t quite pinpoint. It’s random, it’s distracting, and absolutely not necessary to what the band was successfully pulling off. But, if you enjoy extensive Metal songs that shift around in a Progressive manner, Forestelevision is still a strong offering that you will end up coming back to time and time again to be ravaged by.

01. Forestelevision – 44:11 Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Amon Amarth (band)
Amon Amarth

Digital review copy of this release provided by Translation Loss Records via Freeman Promotions.