Converge’s J Bannon starts new band Umbra Vitae, shares song off debut LP
In addition to fronting Converge and Wear Your Wounds and running his Deathwish Inc label (among other projects), Jacob Bannon is also now fronting the new band Umbra Vitae, whose lineup also includes guitarist/vocalist Mike McKenzie (The Red Chord, Wear Your Wounds, Stomach Earth), guitarist/vocalist Sean Martin (ex-Hatebreed, Wear Your Wounds, Twitching Tongues), bassist Greg Weeks (The Red Chord, Labor Hex, etc), and drummer Jon Rice (ex-Job for a Cowboy, Uncle Acid, etc). Their debut album Shadow of Life was recorded and mixed by Bannon's Converge bandmate Kurt Ballou and it comes out on May 1 via Deathwish (pre-order), and you can hear lead single "Return to Zero" now.
"Return to Zero" pulls from old school death metal, grindcore, and other fast, extreme, brutal sounds, and sometimes it sounds a little like Converge's own twisted brand of metalpunk too. Bannon explains that, after toying with more somber sounds in Wear Your Wounds, he got the urge to make something very aggressive next:
After reading [Georg Heym’s 1913 poem Umbra Vitae], I immediately felt connected to it. 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.
Listen and check out the album artwork and tracklist below.
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