Converge's Jacob Bannon Forms Umbra Vitae, Announces Debut Album

The band features members of the Red Chord, Twitching Tongues and more

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Mar 31, 2020

Converge frontman Jacob Bannon has lifted the curtain on a new death metal project and album. New outfit Umbra Vitae will release debut album Shadow of Life on May 1 through Deathwish Inc.

The 10-song Shadow of Life was predominantly recorded and mixed by Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studios, with guitars and bass recorded by McKenzie at the Black Coast. You can hear first single "Return to Zero" below.

Umbra Vitae features frontman Bannon, 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).

As a press release explains, Umbra Vitae was formed by Bannon, McKenzie and Martin out of rehearsals for the vocalist's band Wear Your Wounds. Following that group's album cycle, the trio brought Weeks and Rice into the fold.

The band takes its name from Georg Heym's 1913 poem of the same name. As Bannon explained, "After reading the piece from Heym, I immediately felt connected to it." 

"Later, while working on the previous Wear Your Wounds album, my love for death metal was rekindled," he continued. "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."

Bannon concluded, "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." 

You can now pre-order Shadow of Life.

Shadow of Life:

1. Decadence Dissolves
2. Ethereal Emptiness
3. Atheist Aesthetic
4. Mantra of Madness
5. Fear is a Fossil
6. Polluted Paradise
7. Intimate Inferno
8. Return to Zero
9. Blood Blossom
10. Shadow of Life

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