Talk about a supergroup! Umbra Vitae features Converge and Wear Your Wounds frontman Jacob Bannon, WYW guitarists Sean Martin (Twitching Tongues, ex-Hatebreed) and Mike McKenzie (the Red Chord, Stomach Earth), bassist Greg Weeks (the Red Chord) and drummer Jon Rice (Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, ex-Job for a Cowboy). The new band — which takes its name from a poem by Georg Heym, first published in 1912 — just unleashed its debut single, “Return to Zero,” and it’s a straight-up ripper. Umbra Vitae’s forthcoming full-length, Shadow of Life, is due on May 1st via Deathwish Inc. and available for pre-order now. Check out “Return to Zero” — and read Bannon and Martin’s comments, and see the album cover art and track listing — below.
“After reading the piece from Heym, I immediately felt connected to it,” Bannon said of the new band. “Later while working on the previous Wear Your Wounds album, my love for death metal was rekindled. This was likely a reaction to working on non-aggressive music for such a concentrated period. As these songs started to form, the ominous nature of that original poem came to mind. In many ways it embodied the character of what we were all creating together. For me, Umbra Vitae is darkly confrontational and my own internal struggles are nested within each song. At this point in my life it is of the utmost importance to use this art and music as the vehicle for a healthy purge of emotion. By design, even in something this intense, there is righteous intent to be a better human through the process of creating it.”
Sean Martin added, “During rehearsals for the Wear Your Wounds album Rust on the Gates of Heaven, we talked about the possibility of doing a death-metal band. Seeing as we’ve been known to express ourselves via the more extreme side of the musical coin, it made sense to collaborate together within the realms of something brutal — a 180 degree turn from what we do in WYW, if you will. Soon after the ROTGOH sessions Jacob revealed his vision of the band to me whilst enjoying a meal together at the legendary Kowloon restaurant. I was on board and soon started submitting demos, as did Mike and Greg, to get the process started. Soon afterwards, Jon rounded out the lineup and Shadow of Life is the end result. It’s exciting and inspiring to be involved with this band.”
Shadow of Life track listing:
Mantra of Madness
Fear Is a Fossil
Return to Zero
Shadow of Life