Everyone loved playing with bricks (the toy ones) at one point in their lives. Creating and playing with something that came out of your own mind or with all sorts of different sets. Each set or series had some special bricks, which were unique. At a very young age, when you are done playing or when the set gets broken, you just throw the bricks into one box once you are finished playing with them, regardless of the series or any other type of categorisation. The next time you went into “free-building-mode” you just took the bricks you found and mixed up all the different special bricks creating something even more unique. But sometimes, it is just the same thing you always build, merely with some new bricks.
This „free-building-mode“ applies to so called „super-groups“ as well. Bricks (members) of other sets (bands) come together to create something new or just a lame rehash of the members main-bands.
When I heard, that there would be a super-group consisting of former and current member of bands like (not a definite list, they played in much more bands) Converge (vocalist Jacob Bannon), the Red Chord (bassist Greg Weeks and guitarist Mike Mckenzie), Job for a Cowboy (ex-drummer Jon Rice) and Wear your Wounds (guitarist Sean Martin), I was intrigued. When I also heard that this project would be a Death Metal band, I started counting days till the release.
After a short moody intro the record goes full blast with „Ethereal Emptiness“. Everything a Death Metal fan needs can be found here: blast beats, screams/growls aplenty, tasty little guitar solos and even some little melody here and there.
Once the 26 minutes are over you are floored by the velocity of this album. At first it is an uncommon „surrounding“ when it comes to the music of the members from other bands, but because of the sheer talent summoned here, you will find yourself a new harsh musical home in no time.
So, are Umbra Vitae just project for fans of the main bands? Umbra Vitae created a diverse Death Metal album with a whole lot more to discover than just blast beats and guitar shredding. Do your Metal-loving self a favour and dive into this dark cathartic cave of an album.
8 / 10
“Shadow of Life“
As usual, we added the favorite track(s) to our Transcended Review Playlist 2020.