The winter is at long last knocking on our door and we have so much to give thanks for at this time of year: eggnog‘s reappearance as an acceptable means to “soften” the holiday season, the new crop of Punk and Metal X-mas sweaters, and of course, Lumbar, a new Psychedelic, Sludge/Doom project from Aaron Edge (Roareth), Tad Doyle and Yob’s Mike Scheidt.
The First and Last Days of Unwelcome is, at its root, an urgent album. Aaron Edge was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, so it is a sad fact that his days are numbered in regard to playing and writing music. Through this experience, though, Edge and Co. have crafted an album that simultaneously aches with sorrow while at the same time explores the vast unknowns of life all while bring the listener one of the most crushing Doom albums of the year.
From this lineup you’d expect songs pushing up into the ten-minute range but they keep it concise here and it works both as an asset and a detriment to the album. At 25 minutes, I find myself playing the full album back to back more often than not to quickly revisit the countless stellar moments this album has to offer. The songs shift from tormented howlings (aided by Scheidt’s distinct vocals) to suffocating passages of pulverizing Doom that leave you little time to catch your breath.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in comparisons to bands like Yob and Burning Witch, but these three have created a dense and emotional album brimming with pain and despair that exists in a far different realm than either of these bands.
It’s good to see Southern Lord adding some Doom to their recent crop of Crusty Hardcore albums.