Spirit Adrift – Forge Your Future (Century Media)Wednesday, 8th September 2021
Studying at the altar of heavy metal and doom, Spirit Adrift have made a healthy ascent into the hearts of many music mavens (and critics) through their previous discography. Now officially a part of the Century Media roster, Forge Your Future comes out in less than a year from the previous full-length Enlightened in Eternity – continuing the alliteration title trend starting with 2017’s Curse of Conception outing. Normally a three-song EP would signal a seismic shift in terms of direction, or a stop gap notion to satisfy impatient listeners clamoring for more material. Alas, these musicians want to pump out music in a timely fashion on their terms, and delight once again through sheer will, tenacity, and reverence for the dynamic diversity of the genre.
Each song pegs an interesting set of influences. “Wake Up” revs up in a late 70’s/early 80’s classic metal platform, Nate Garrett throwing down a series of riffs that would make Randy Rhoads proud, the harmony moments evoking Judas Priest while his vocals have this southern twang while he belts out the easy on the brain chorus ‘trying to open your mind’. “Invisible Enemy” at 7:32 contains all the epic qualities you want out of bands like Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Metallica, or even Pink Floyd – the ebbs and flows between parts taking you on a rollercoaster to give you so much to process, absorb, and bang thy head again and again. The opening title track has that Dio-era Black Sabbath/Rainbow charm – tranquil clean guitars setting the scene before the grandiose main riff kicks in, drummer Marcus Bryant providing the epic doom tempo support and hitting all the key snare, tom, kick, and cymbal accents to drive that atmosphere to the stars. The duo intuitively develops these songs to feature the adequate instrumentation – never overplaying, driving home the best hooks, harmonies, and melodies to create masterpieces for the modern age. Returning to Ryan Bram for recording, mixing, and mastering expertise provides the comfort and trust Spirit Adrift needs to keep the focus solely on the music.
Spirit Adrift proves US heavy metal isn’t a thing of the past – there is plenty of creative power in the here and now.