Here in the US we get some quality stuff out of our Pacific Northwest. This area boasts the likes of Agalloch, Inquisition, and Wolves in the Throne Room to name a few. Varied styles come from this area but Lumbar plant themselves firmly in doom metal. This trio consists of Aaron Edge, Mike Scheidt, and Tad Doyle. This is really the brainchild of Aaron Edge who has recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a truly tragic diagnosis especially for a musician. This may well be his final piece of work but let’s all hope not. From the first to the last this is top shelf doom metal, wonderfully crafted and executed, and the end all we want it more.
Lumbar, just like High On Fire, Rush, and Chicago’s own Deep Space Pilot, really demonstrate what a trio can do with music. It’s just amazing when you listen to this heavy as fuck offering and realize it came from a trio, a true testament to their abilities.
“The First and Last Days of Unwelcome” is seven tracks titled as ‘Day One’ through ‘Day Seven’. Almost like seven independent pieces of art. The title of the release and tracks certainly can be interpreted as the progression of a journey, through a day, through a week, through a life, or maybe through a disease. What is true is that these seven pieces, taken singly or collectively, represent some of the best and most emotional doom metal releases of the year, at least for me. They stand along with While Heaven Wept as some of the most emotion invoking music I have heard in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, all music brings out our emotions, after all why else would we listen and live music. But Lumbar and WHW really touch a part our soul, and speak to us, or rather me, on a deeply personal level.
The music is heavy as fuck, low end guitars and beat all constructed to give us a dark landscape. It erects walls of tones and drops boulders of riffs through all seven of the tracks. Its near perfect composition leaves us pondering all aspects of life, death, and everything in between. This is music you can meditate the origins of the universe to, or think of nothing but blackness. It’s nearly impossible to describe its parts, you know this is made up of guitars, drums, bass, maybe even some samples here and there, but the music is so cohesive its hard to break it down.
Not being able to break it down into its parts may be the best compliment and testament to Lumbar. When you can achieve this level of completeness, you have found something special to tell the universe. There is no filler here, nothing is out of place, and everything is in sync. It more than a release of an album, it’s art, their canvas and colors are notes and emotion, and what it creates is a singular work that will stand the test of time.
This is one of the best doom, and for that matter metal, releases of the year. It deserves to be heard, no, experienced. Darkness and headphones and a clear head will let you journey on seven days of pounding emotion and crashing thunderous riffs and beats. This is a must listen for 2013 and beyond. Listen, it’s a must!