In many cases there is a risk for many young bands to slip into cliche and plagiarism, especially when they decided to play music in such established genres like Heavy or Speed Metal, where seemingly done everything that could be done and even some new music from the founders of these genres in nothing more than self-plagiarism. But anyway, is it possible to not to be trivial and sound fresh in such narrow scope of these genres? Well, Americans Spirit Adrift try and seem like they succeed in a way.
Spirit Adrift grown up from the solo project of songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Nate Garrett. In 2015 Nate started to work on his songs and the next year his debut album Chained To Oblivion was released. In 2017 drummer Marcus Bryant joined Nate and in the same year the band releases the Curse Of Conception and starts to perform live. Their third album Divides By Darkness (2019) was highly acclaimed by fans and critics and got to a lot of “2019 top albums”. And now, a year later, here comes the fourth album, named Enlightened In Eternity.
Musically, Spirit Adrift is mostly a Heavy/Speed Metal with tons of references. Musicians don’t hesitate to point at those, who inspired them: there are Black Sabbath, Dio and Iron Maiden – a huge list of bands from 70s to 90s. Nevertheless, there is no cliche or plagiarism, but unmistakable references: here comes Dio, here we got classic British Heavy Metal, and this is recognizable Doom. But at the same time Spirit Adrift give their songs a contemporary sound, not trying to replicate the same sounding that we’ve heard already for hundred times but on the opposite, distance themselves from it.
“Astral Levitation” will probably be the best example of it: slow paced, with potent bass and heavy riff, it reminds “Heaven And Hell” and “Straight Through The Heart”, clearly pointing at Dio as a source of inspiration. However, in the middle of the song there comes a raspy solo and the music goes to NWOBHM with great harmonies, bridges and underlined bass, which is obviously Iron Maiden thing. “Cosmic Conquest”, a classic Heavy Metal song with catchy hooks and bridges also refers to Dio at some moments, while there are also some Diamond Head and Saxon moments too.
The album is full of catchy moments and memorable guitar lines – Nate Garrett’s songwriter talent is evident here. The second part of buoyant Speed Metal piece “Harmony Of The Spheres” will make you hit the “repeat” button a lot (drummer Marcus Bryant shown himself here greatly too). The opening “Ride Into The Light” is also fast and solid, with good riffs, drums and rough vocals is quite catchy too. And the aggressive one “Stronger Than Your Pain” sound in the vein of Iron Savior or Primal Fear.
The album ends with 11-minutes long song “Reunited In The Void”. Deliberate and heavy, it sounds more like Sludge or Stoner Metal from Crowbar, but at the same time it keeps the melody inherent to Spirit Adrift and it is full of melancholy. Everything becomes silent in the middle of the song, keeping just atmospheric keyboards, which joined with some clean guitars that aggravate the melancholic mood. Gradually, all instruments are back and now the song sounds bluesy, with stunning long solo (which resembles the blues improvisation) that just fades out.
As a result, Spirit Adrift delivered a good “classic Heavy Metal” album. Surprisingly, the band managed to avoid some cliches mostly and don’t slip into replication of famous riffs and bridges. Also I need to say that Enlightened In Eternity sounds modernly, but lots of references make the songs a little bit predictable sometimes. But the most important thing is that there are lots of catchy moments, which you want to listen to them over and over again, and that’s what makes it stunning.
Enlightened In Eternity will be released on October, 16 via Century Media Records.
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