Spirit Adrift – 20 Centuries Gone (Century Media)

Monday, 15th August 2022
Rating: 9 / 10

Combining a mix of cover songs plus two original new tracks that express the wide array of metal, hard rock, and southern boogie/blues-styled influences on hand, Spirit Adrift arrives at 20 Centuries Gone. The multitude of EP’s, albums, and split/single offerings since their start in 2015 speaks to the sincerity plus passionate output these musicians display through every piece of music worked upon – slowly carving out a reliable ethos that isn’t the norm in the current business model of longer touring versus even longer gaps between studio records.

The two newer songs “Sorcerer’s Fate” and “Mass Formation Psychosis” encompass all facets of Spirit Adrift in terms of approach, abilities, and crushing heaviness at varying tempos. The first cut contains that classic twin-guitar harmony start, an almost mid-tempo Metallica-ish buildup before the churning, marching gallop and majestic Nate Garrett vocal presence commands the aural podium giving off Eternal Champion vibes. Meanwhile the other composition contains a treasure trove of southern-infused doom and gloom riffs, the mid-tempo crunchy transition and pocket drum placement building anticipation to a feedback, echo-oriented conclusion. Next we have six covers – Spirit Adrift paying tribute to Type O Negative, Pantera, Metallica, Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Where the band throw curveballs into the mix are the specific choices: ever think that the often maligned “Escape” off Ride the Lightning would sound better in the hands of another artist? Check yes here. How about some Texas and Florida stomping southern blues/rock action with “Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings” and “Poison Whiskey”? Another roaring success there.

This scribe has deep affinity for the work of Thin Lizzy and their impact on the scene – so “Waiting for An Alibi” certainly fits Nate’s vocal range, plus the fluid, pounding bass work and simple yet effective twin guitar lines grab your attention and never let go. If you need a primer into Spirit Adrift, 20 Centuries Gone slides right in adequately to their influences plus personal spin on this always reliable, never forgotten style of heavy music.

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