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Lesbian: Forestelevision

Seattle psychonauts channel the musical multiverse

Lesbian, the arbitrarily named Seattle quartet fronted by the bassist from veteran crossover pioneers The Accused, have released a couple of decent LPs in a Neurosis/Isis vein since 2007, but their third album – a single 44-minute track – hoists them into a weirder and more wonderful world of their own.

In many ways, Forestelevision feels like an extreme metal version of Mike Oldfield’s rustic, labyrinthine mid-70s mood pieces – meandering and building, ebbing and flowing, leading the stoned and headphoned listener on a sprawling sonic odyssey. In the case of Forestelevision, we’re escorted through passages of opiated, dissonant post-rock languor into a raft of choppy sludge-death riffing and esoteric-flavoured psych-doom and across a windswept, black-metal expanse, shot through with audacious and anarchic prog tendencies.

Often these kind of multi-stylistic epics risk sounding turgid and pompous, but Lesbian have harnessed a free-ranging eccentricity, juxtapositional nous and restless momentum that keep the listener engaged. And the ante is upped in the 35th minute when, quite unexpectedly, King Diamond seems to show up.

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.