A couple weeks back, a new band was unveiled in the form of Umbra Vitae which features Jacob Bannon of Converge, Mike McKenzie of The Red Chord, Sean Martin of Twitching Tongues, ex Hatebreed, Greg Weeks of The Red Chord and Jon Rice of Uncle Acid, ex Job For A Cowboy. The first song they released, “Return To Zero” was one hell of a track out of the gates but, this new one, “Mantra Of Madness,” is a whole other level of killer. The title is quite fitting for the times we live in at the moment too. Their debut album Shadow of Life, comes out May 1st on Deathwish. So, with all that in mind, check this out!!!
As a musician and artist, when you have the chance to tap back into a genre that you’ve been away from for a long while, the end result is something that often times feels refreshing and reinvigorating. That being said, while in rehearsals for Wear Your Wounds, Jacob Bannon, Sean Martin and Mike McKenzie, began messing around with some heavy riffs. After realizing what they had, the three of them recruited Greg Weeks (The Red Chord, Labor Hex) and Jon Rice (Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Job For A Cowboy) for the rhythm section to back their aggressive riffs and thus Umbra Vitae was conceived. Taking their name from a poem by Georg Heym, The music and and words are as haunting as it’s namesake. Their debut album, Shadow of Life (out May 1st via Deathwish Inc.), was recorded and mixed by Kurt Ballou. The album one that will pummel the listener with unrelenting force and unpredictability. As well as providing self affirming mantras to give it even more of an edge.
Vocalist Jacob Bannon has gone on to say about Umbra Vitae “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. 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.” He continues, “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.” Umbra Vitae definitely is a band to look out for and hopefully will continue as time goes on.
Umbra Vitae is:
Jacob Bannon: Vocals, Lyrics (Converge, Wear Your Wounds, Blood From the Soul)
Mike McKenzie: Guitars, Vocals (The Red Chord, Wear Your Wounds, Stomach Earth)
Sean Martin: Guitars, Vocals (ex-Hatebreed, Wear Your Wounds, Twitching Tongues)
Greg Weeks: Bass (The Red Chord, Labor Hex, etc)
Jon Rice: Drums (ex-Job for a Cowboy, Uncle Acid, etc)
I love side projects. Especially when they deviate from the style of music you’ve associated someone with for so long. Wear Your Wounds is one of my favorite side projects I’ve ever heard. Wear Your Wounds was created by Converge founder Jacob Bannon. Initially conceived as a solo project, it evolved into a five-piece band that often works with collaborating musicians. In 2017, the debut self titled double album was released followed closely by the even more experimental Dunedevil, which was also an accompaniment to Bannon’s abstract art book of the same name. Now, Wear Your Wounds, prepare to release their new album Rust on the Gates of Heaven (out July 12 via Deathwish Inc.). The release marks the first time the official lineup of the band; Jacob Bannon (Converge), Mike McKenzie (The Red Chord, Stomach Earth, Unraveller, etc), Adam McGrath (Cave In, Nomad Stones, etc), Sean Martin (Twitching Tongues, ex-Hatebreed, ex-Kid Cudi), and Chris Maggio (ex-Trap Them, ex-Sleigh Bells, etc) have properly written and recorded together. It also features musicians Ben Chisholm (Chelsea Wolfe, White Horse) and Gared O’Donnell (Planes Mistaken For Stars, Hawks and Doves) collaborating throughout. Watch and or listen to the music video for the album’s eponymous first single now. Personally I can’t wait for this album to come out. So do yourself a favor and dive in to this great band and their work.