Review Summary: If you like Roadburn, this record won't disappoint.
The first time I came across Lesbian was at Roadburn 2008. I didn’t get to see them play but the name somehow got stuck in my head, so when I heard they had a new record out in at the end of 2010 I checked it out and picked it up.
Stratospheria Cubensis is one of those albums that frequently visits my CD-player, but I’ve never been able to find the words to describe it. With 5 songs in 71 minutes there is plenty of time to think about it you would say. But there is so much going on in these songs that is hard to point everything out and sometimes even to make sense of it.
Lesbian combines Psychedelica, Doom, Sludge, Prog and a little Black metal to come up with a blend that is totally their own. They play long (the shortest is still 8 minutes) songs that are mainly instrumental with only a few vocals. The vocals that are there are awesome. Hellish enough to fit any Black Metal band but the growl is low enough to fit doom or sludge as well.
This record has a dense and massive sound. A sound that builds layer upon layer during every song. Songs that feel like crushing heavy space jams. But they will just as easily break that wall of sound down and go back to a clean prog sound just build that wall back up again. This band does want it wants to do and that makes Stratospheria Cubensis an unpredictable album and that is great. But the switch from Doom to Prog to Sludge to Prog to Doom mixed with odd time signatures can also make it a record that’s hard to listen to if you’re not used to it. And sometimes the switches between the genres feel a bit unnatural and forced.
The production on this album is what you'ld expect from it. Dark, heavy and gritty, which really complements the wall of sound Lesbian is creating. But because of that wall it could have done with a bit more clarity, so the listener has a better grasp of what is going on.
Definitely not a perfect record, but still a really good one. I could name a long list of bands that have something in common with Lesbian, but if you know what Roadburn is about and you like what's going on there, check this record out. It won't disappoint you.