Umbra Vitae - Shadow Of Life review

Bandcamp music player

22 users:
Band: Umbra Vitae
Album: Shadow Of Life
Release date: May 2020

01. Decadence Dissolves
02. Ethereal Emptiness
03. Atheist Aesthetic
04. Mantra Of Madness
05. Fear Is A Fossil
06. Polluted Paradise
07. Intimate Inferon
08. Return To Zero
09. Blood Blossom
10. Shadow Of Life

Listen, I have an important deadline tomorrow, so I'll make this quick. This album is also quick, but what can you expect from a death metal album made by members of Converge, The Red Chord and a bunch of other namedrop bands.

Honestly just me saying that this is a death metal album and mentioning Converge should be enough to make you check out this album. Plus it's barely over twenty minutes in runtime, so you wouldn't waste your time even with me absolutely guaranteeing that you won't. Now let's get the supergroup lineup out of the way, since that's the most eye catching thing about this, we have Jacob Bannon of Converge on vocals, Mike McKenzie of The Red Chord on guitars, Sean Martin (of Hatebreed) also on guitars, and plus these are all people we saw in a similar supergroup in last year's Wear Your Wounds. So other than that, there's Jon Rice of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, and Greg Weeks also of The Red Chord on vocals. Also there's Kurt Ballou mixing the whole thing. Supergroup written all over this.

With that out of the way, is it good? Yeah, pretty much. It's death metal, but death metal that was clearly made by hardcore guys, so don't expect some slimy doom death riffs of muddy production. At the same time this is almost a 180 degrees turn from the weary and gloomy Wear Your Wounds into something taking metalcore usual ferocity in a new direction. The band is not shying away from their usual sounds, but it's really great hearing some recognizably death metal riffs with a touch of chainsaw buzz from the guys, especially since the energy behind it is so unique compared to what is usually heard in death metal. And for 25 minutes, Shadow Of Life delivers that ferocity incarnated.

But these are 25 minutes that go inexplicably quickly, which is probably the better alternative to me constantly wondering how much more do I have to wait until it's over, but this does make the album feel a bit unfinished. Like there were a couple of instances where I was curious where a song was heading, but it just suddenly faded out and the next one began, as if there was supposed to be something there. The lack of breathing space is quite a minor complaint, especially with the album moving away from both hardcore and death metal quite a few times to some more mid-paced and more atmospheric sections, so even so, there is a fair share of diversity. But most of it is immensely pummeling.

So once the novelty of the lineup and of hardcore guys doing death metal wears off, this is still a pretty fun album, but one that leaves a bit to be desired. Which makes me hope that Bannon will feel like doing death metal again soon, because I want this in a fuller form.

Off topic, but does anyone know anything about autonomic database management?


Written on 18.05.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

Hits total: 843 | This month: 38