Lumbar
The First And Last Days Of Unwelcome

Southern Lord 2013

American doomsters, Lumbar crush and smother with lingering riffs and massive walls of droning guitars that sound like they are coated in tar.  Each of the seven tracks on this album is named a day in progressive order, starting with Day 1.  Hints of desolation ring out behind the mountains of guitar and are enhanced by the slowly undulating pace and dry vocals.  Echoes of traditional doom linger in some corners of the songwriting but for the most part this track dwells in sludgy, droning territory.  Day 2 pulses with one of the grimiest bass guitars I have ever heard.  It is soooooo low-end that it bottoms out at the Earth's core.  Shades of Winter's style and strokes of funeral doom cross pollinate for the second half of Day 2 and the vocals become decidedly deadlier in their layered approach.  Somber, near melodic string strangulation and droning, white noise chords weave themselves across one another on Day 3.  Visually it creates two, very different images for me, a bright sunrise and the dread of nuclear detonation.  Textured sound samples create an ambient soundscape while explosions of deep, muffled sound flesh out Day 5.  Together it creates a sense of brooding terror within the listener which is only amplified by the vocal rasps.  However we get back to the punishing doom-drone on Day 6.  Arcs of feedback screech across nebulous guitar patterns that soon coalesce into cyclopean megaliths of sound.  The singer takes a more traditional approach to the singing on the track and reveals his sharpened power.  Reflecting even more sorrow in the guitar tone, Day 7 brings the album to a close.  There are gleams of desolation in the riffs despite the mounds of crushing, shuddering drone within their sound.  The First And Last Days Of Unwelcome is a solid album of dismal doom that exhales reverb and droning darkness yet somehow also manages to allow a few cracks of hopeful light into Lumbar's sound.  I wasn't blown away, but I was pleased with this album nonetheless.