Monday, November 18, 2013

Lumbar-The First and Last Days of Unwelcome

Southern Lord Recordings

Is it just me or does it not seem as Southern Lord Recordings always seems to gets their hands on the latest and greatest doom and sludge releases? And sure enough Southern Lord has done it once again! Case in point here we have "The First and Last Days of Unwelcome", the full-length debut album Portland, Oregon's Lumbar. This project features three longtime friends, Aaron Edge (Himsa, Iamthethorn, Roareth, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth), Mike Scheidt (YOB) and Tad Doyle (Tad, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth), who ended up coming together/bonding together after Aaron Edges was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. All of which gives this debut LP from Lumbar a sincerely urgent and emotional vibe. The thing is while this release might just be the brainchild of Aaron Edge, and Lumbar might just be more about his journey then anything else, this trio works together quite well with "The First and Last Days of Unwelcome". While all three members of Lumbar share vocal duties, which gives these seven tracks (titled "Day One", "Day Two" and so on all the way up to "Day Seven"!) even more of a crushing edge while simultaneously offering up a nice slab of doom metal variety, all of the instruments (guitars, bass and drums) fall on Aaron Edges himself. Collectively this trio is nothing short of magical (is that the right word for HEAVY doom metal?) with the music that is found within this seven-track album falling into the category of "epic"!  Well, that is if slowly creeping HEAVY (yes, I know, again with the "HEAVY", but in this case it truly is warranted folks!) doom metal, which is entirely justified in being as bleak, dark, dismal and depressing as it is here, can be considered "epic"?  
And yes, when it comes to this release (and the story behind it) it's certainly understandable why there is so much pain and heartache present within this music. When you sit and consider Aaron's (extremely) painful journey (post-diagnosis and all) and what he would have to endure it's no wonder that this debut-album ends up draining you emotionally the way it does. As someone who has suffered from chronic pain in the past (from my early twenties until I was about thirty five or so I suffered from horrific pain in my joints and in my feet) and still deals with constant pain to this very day I can see why this release was....well, a release for Aaron! For anyone to be (suddenly) diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which is something I have unfortunately seen first hand, that would end up being a crushing blow. But for a musician? What could you possibly do or say to help someone like that face the reality that their world was about to change? When your livelihood revolves around using your hands to create art what options could you hope to have? With friends like Tad and Mike in his corner he was given the chance to express the suffering (inside) that he was experiencing and the result, Lumbar and the creative energy-infused "The First and Last Days of Unwelcome", is a must-possess for doom fanatics. And better yet all of the band's proceeds will end up benefiting Aaron Edge (they will go towards helping Aaron pay his hospital bills and the treatment he will require) which means you can buy "The First and Last Days of Unwelcome" AND help out a musician who has given his all for his fans! This is is a release that will see a wide-range of formats from digital to LP (and even cassette!) so I can't recommend this one enough folks! You can hear the whole thing for yourself at their bandcamp page below....

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