Lesbian album review – Hallucinogenesis

Seattle’s psychedelic heavyweights Lesbian tighten up their trip with new album

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At what point does ambition crumble into overindulgence? With 2013’s Forestelevision, Lesbian posed that question in the form of a sprawling psych-doom monolith, comprised of one track clocking in at 44 bone-crushing minutes.

Headtrips are meant to be experienced as long, uninterrupted journeys yet that album’s wanton lack of restraint left too few spaces to gather your senses before plunging headlong into the next mad, doomy fray.

With Hallucinogenesis, the band conjure another pummelling, genre-sampling epic, trimming the material into four discrete tracks that again draw from myriad stylings such as thrash, blackened death, doom and of course, kaleidoscopic, pupil-dilated psych metal. Tipping 45 minutes, this compositionally taut approach serves their sound far better, losing none of the menace or psilocybic vision of earlier releases. The howling black metal violence of opener Pyramidal Existinctualism plays masterfully off of quieter, proggy interludes on tracks like Aqualibrium, while the standout Kosmoceratops serves up an unholy maelstrom of surging chest-beating riffs. Like its predecessor, Hallucinogenesis demands much of the listener but its sharper focus at last brings the rewards into sight.