Lumbar is the brainchild of one Aaron Edge, who despite being recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis has marched on with this new project regardless; one of misanthropic doom.
He’s joined by Mike Sheidt from Yob and Vhöl and Tad Doyle (Tad, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth). It’s pretty clear at this point that Mike Scheidt really likes to keep busy. While Yob have been relatively quiet the last while, Scheidt has maintained his presence with Vhöl, alongside members of Agalloch and Hammers of Misfortune. Now we have Lumbar, signed with Southern Lord.
With seven tracks, each titled ‘Day One’ to ‘Day Seven’, this album has a definitive tone and flow that was clearly quite deliberate, demanding the whole consumption of the record. It’s also up in the air whether this is an album or an EP. In many ways, it has been presented as an album and certainly has an album’s worth of riffs, but it’s all jammed into a terse 25 minute running time. This gives the record a sense of urgency in its undercurrent, rumbling beneath the doom exterior.
Where, for example, Vhöl is more attuned to black metal, albeit with a punky bite, Lumbar is more towards Yob on the sonic spectrum but certainly sounds distinct enough.
Hulking riffs and possessed vocals rule the roost, first with an old school doom metal riff that gives way to seething, spat out vocals. This is sets the scene nicely for ‘Day Two’, a misanthropic pile of sludgy doom, drenched in reverb, that instantly recalls a taste of Burning Witch.
When you consider the expansive doom leanings of say Yob, it’s interesting to hear a band like this compacted into such a succinct running time. It’s both to its detriment and benefit. The latter as the 25 minutes are overwhelmingly powerful, but also a detriment as you’re pining for more, mostly because you know the respective members are capable of it.