UMBRA VITAE – shadow of life – CD digisleeveCD digisleevedeathwish records2020
« Shadow of Life » is the ten song debut album from Umbra Vitae, recorded and mixed by Kurt Ballou at God City Studios. Guitars and bass were recorded by Mike McKenzie at The Black Coast. The album was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege.
Intro “Decadence Dissolves” is a Schuldiner-esque calm before the storm. “Ethereal Emptiness” and “Atheist Aesthetic” soon rip everything apart, methodically downshifting from blackened to brutal in tone. “Mantra of Madness” then emerges as a monster of a song, driven by inhuman drumming and traditional death metal riffing. This pattern of intensity continues in “Fear is a Fossil”, “Polluted Paradise”, and “Intimate Inferno”. All are motion sickness inducing numbers that violently lurch in aural agony. It’s here one realizes that this album never lets up. “Return to Zero” takes it to another level, viciously grinding as the lines “Return to zero, bite down on the chain, bow down to no one” repeat as mantra. This leads to “Blood Blossom” an amalgamation of metal ferocity and hardcore spirit that could very well be the heaviest track of them all. Infectious closer “Shadow of Life” then screams in terror as it tells the tale of the internal battle of the dark and light within us all.