Umbra Vitae – “Shadow Of Life” LP
The ten song debut album from Umbra Vitae, recorded and mixed by Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studio, and featuring the vocals of Jacob Bannon (Converge) teamed-up with members of Red Chord, (also collaborators on the Wear Your Wounds project, and with further connections to Twitching Tongues, 100 Demons and Hate Bread). Blackened and brutal in tone – more so than Converge, even – this is death-metal-core for 2020; taking it to another level, hitting you fast, hard, and – at around 25 minutes – with no time to catch your breath. So yes, it does indeed point towards an album of ‘Converge does death metal’ – which would be no bad thing, but it actualy ends-up placing itself in the territory of progessive metal, with an added element of grindcore insanity, bringing to mind a contemporary twist on Burst and Nasum. Two years later and finally back in print once again.