Spirit Adrift– Chained to Oblivion (Prosthetic Records/ War Crime Recordings)
It has not been too terribly long since we’ve talked about this band. Spirit Adrift unknowingly got a season pass to the Abusement Park when the EP Behind – Beyond was released earlier this year which was two songs of incredible doom. Then we had the man of the one man band, Nate Garrett, on here for an interview. Now at long last the full length is here which is five songs of even more incredible doom metal.
When we spoke to Nate he mentioned that he stepped up everything for this recording especially on vocals and on drums. With the first song “Psychic Tide” I find it really fitting that the first thing that is heard is indeed drums, as if to say “check this out”. Then we are introduced to a nasty riff that would make Matt Pike smile, as well as some stepped up vocals. Upon first listen it is clear that Nate Garrett has put in some work improving his voice as well as drumming. First step into this album and the increased confidence is shown. The ending section to this song with the dual guitar harmonies is incredibly melodic with drum build up, it’s almost Maiden like. This song makes it incredibly easy to forget that this is all one guy creating this thickness.
The second track “Marzanna” is incredibly heavy with nods to post-metal. I personally think this track is very Yob like as well as very melodic. The shortest and most straight forward song is right in the middle, “Form and Force” this song is perfectly placed on the album. It’s more bare bones but doesn’t lose the melody and just focuses on the groove. I think what I like most about this track is the old school style guitar solo in it. It’s more of something you would be used to hearing in an classic rock song which is a reminder you do not always have to be incredibly flashy in order to be effective. The title track is a beast of a track with its quiet intro followed by an assault by riffs. This is also a more angry sounding song for Spirit Adrift, once again featuring an excellent guitar solo. I find this song perfect in every way and while listening to this song I wondered why it wasn’t used as the album closer. The answer to that question is a simple one, if you have a weird song that features “crazy Ayahuasca-tripping Cannibal tribe percussion” you close the album with that song, which is called “Hum of Our Existence” and it proves to be a very good closer. The intro riff is some funky stuff but only in the best ways. It also features some of the best vocal parts I easily connect with the “how many times can one thing die” section. I was singing along to it by my third listen. Towards the end of this there is some straight up Mastodonesque sludge riffs and vocals that makes up what was certainly the best way to close this album out.
A lot of people seemed to think that the songs on the EP were a bit too long, all of that should be laid to rest on this one. The songs are all as long as they need to be and hold your attention the entire time. I find this album to be very cathartic and that is heard in the voice of Garrett, whatever inspired these songs can be felt and heard within them. We may never fully understand what inspired this but they are very open to ones own meanings. On the subject of inspiration, Nate clearly shows some of his influences throughout the album especially with bands like High on Fire, Yob, Pallbearer, and Warning (especially in the voice department on the latter two). Stephen King once said something on his influences for his writing. If he was reading McCarthy he would write similar to McCarthy or Lovecraft and etc. However once you find your own voice it eventually comes thorugh more than your influences. That can certainly be said about Nate Garrett on this release. He has a voice and he uses it, at the end of the day this is Spirit Adrift, this is Nate Garrett. Last years best new comers to doom metal was Khemmis, with Absolution. This year it is clearly Spirit Adrift with Chained to Oblivion. This album doesn’t just deserve multiple listens, it requires it.
Listen to Chained to Oblivion: https://spiritadrift.bandcamp.com/album/chained-to-oblivion
Spirit Adrift: https://www.facebook.com/SpiritAdrift/
Our interview with Nate: https://abusementparkblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/a-fire-side-chat-with-spirit-adrift/
Abusement Park: https://www.facebook.com/abusementparkblog/?fref=ts