Lumbar – The First and Last Days of Unwelcome

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By Gruesome Greg

There’s quite the back story behind this band. Seattle guitarist Aaron Edge, suffering from multiple sclerosis, sets out to record his last album before being robbed of the ability to play any instruments—ultimately enlisting area mainstays Tad Doyle and Mike Scheidt to finish the record. Yeah, that pretty much just screams “sludge metal.”

What we get are seven tracks spanning just under 25 minutes, each named after a day (ie Day One, Day Two, Day Three, etc). “Day One” hits you right off the bat, following an extended soundclip, with a rush of brackish, dirty riffage, Scheidt’s high-pitched wail wallowing overtop. The next four days are all less than three minutes long, but still leave an impression. The first half of “Day Two” is nothing but thickly-distorted bass, before tortured screams and crashing symbols take over in the homestretch. “Day Three” is mostly white noise and spoken—or rather, yelled—word, sounding like something off a Mike Williams solo record, while Days Four and Five kinda recall Corrections House, minus the saxophone.

That said, a thick, sticky doom riff kicks off “Day Six,” which takes us down a path towards the Weedian Nazareth. Yuuup, this one sounds a little like Sleep, or even YOB, especially considering that one member of the latter lends his signature vocals to the proceedings. The seventh day brings more doom and gloom, ending the album on a sombre note with some severely down-tuned despondency that borders on drone. You can almost taste the anguish.

(Southern Lord)

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Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.