Converge’s Jacob Bannon joins forces with ex-The Red Chord members for Umbra Vitae

Converge + The Red Chord = Umbra Vitae. 

Coming from the same extreme underground scene as Beneath The Massacre, Darkest Hour, Between The Buried & Me, and Ion Dissonance, core-loving deathgrind merchants The Red Chord made a decent yet perhaps underrated splash in their time. Namely off the back of insane records like their 2002 debut ‘Fused Together in Revolving Doors‘ and 2005’s ‘Clients.’ Yet with the group going on hiatus in 2014, and with their last record being from 2009 (‘Fed Through The Teeth Machine‘), it’s likely that we aren’t suddenly getting any new material from the pre-deathcore-era band. But indirectly? That’s another story.

Filled with current and former Red Chord members – drummer Jon Rice, guitarist Mike McKenzie, bassist Greg Weeks – as well as Twitching Tongues/ex-Hatebreed guitarist Sean Martin, we now get the new death metal supergroup, Umbra Vitae, fronted by Converge’s own Jacob Bannon. In their debut song, ‘Return To Zero‘ – a brutal, traditional death metal 2:36 ripper about destroying “resistances” in one’s life in order to be better – you’re struck down by bruising riffs and furious blasting in the vein of bands like Napalm Death, seeing a more hectic, punishing side to that of Jacob’s vocals. It’s the extremity and grinding nature of The Red Chord with the insanely raw, emotive vocals of Converge, and it’s dope.

Born out of a fondness for metal during an old Wear Your Wounds rehearsals, and inspired by German poet/writer Georg Heym, the meaning behind the name “Umbra Vitae” is “Shadows of Life.” So it’s then fitting that Umbra Vitae’s debut album is also called ‘Shadow Of Life,’ a 1912 work of Heym’s, and it arrives May 1st on Deathwish Inc.

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