PICK OF THE WEEK: Spirit Adrift add positivity into darkness on mighty ‘Enlightened in Eternity’

There certainly is a lot of darkness in our world. Too much if you ask me. And it’s almost impossible to avoid if you pay even an ounce of attention to things that are going on in the news and within our own communities. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of people having mental health issues that likely have been pressed to their breaking point. Times are rough.

Taking that all into account, it’s nice to know there still are forces in our world trying to amplify positivity and refusing the give in to the madness. On their fourth full-length record “Enlightened in Eternity,” Spirit Adrift set out to make their most powerful and uplifting music to date, which they definitely do on this eight-track, nearly 46-minute album that just explodes with emotion. Not that all was well with the band’s world going into recording the album as vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Nate Garrett and drummer Marcus Bryant both lost their beloved dogs (Garrett’s Lizzy can be seen in the gatefold of the “Chained to Oblivion” album), and a friend close to the band also passed, so their positive vibes created when they wrote the music certainly was challenged. But they fought their way through and made one hell of a great album, and Lizzy and Bryant’s Dawkins even gallop gloriously on the album’s cover, a sign that they may be on a different plane, but they’re never forgotten. 

“Ride Into the Light” starts the record with the riffs killing and hugely chugging as everything comes to life. “If we make it through the night, we’ll ride into the light,” Garrett declares over the chorus as the track charges, and the soloing catches fire. “In victory, it’s clear to me, there’s something more that I must be,” Garrett calls triumphantly as synth rises, and everything slams shut. “Astral Levitation” has a nice Dio essence to it (from a musical standpoint) as the verses punch, and the chorus overwhelms. “There is nowhere that can’t be seen if you let yourself be free,” he calls as keys merge, and the bass line pumps. Soloing goes off as the track takes on a Maiden-style gallop, running back through the chorus before bowing out. “Cosmic Conquest” has the bass driving up your blood pressure and more great leads that make your heart surge. Guitars flex before the soloing adds more pressure, hitting glorious highs that’ll have your serotonin levels cruising. “Screaming from Beyond” has a nice classic heavy metal vibe to it, more great singing (this is where I point out just how great Garrett’s voice sounds on this record), and a tight drive that keeps landing blows. Warm soloing melts away walls of ice later on while the energy fades, only for a clean trickling to pick up and take the song to its end.

“Harmony of the Spheres” bursts through the gates, trucking and hammering with Garrett blasting over the chorus, “Harmony showing us the way, every vibration is the same,” with extra emphasis on the last word. The guitars jab away while the energy level is thick as hell, with the track coming to a forceful end. “Battle High” opens with a bass line that reminds of “Black Velvet,” as everything snakes in around that, with Garrett warning, “Save yourself, war is hell.” The chorus gushes through the center of its rigid body while the music is charred and leaves pockets of smoke behind. “Stronger Than Your Pain” has guitars circling and cutting through as meaty bruising is left on your rib cage, and a simple but bustling chorus finds its way to the surface. The playing is raucous and fun, laying in some solid punches on its way out the door. “Reunited in the Void” is the 10:48-long closer that dawns over the horizon as the guitars lather, and a slower pace is achieved. “Pain is just an inner guide, voices from the other side,” Garrett wails as synth rises, and the emotional toll gets heavier. “You and I will be one eternally,” Garrett vows as the song segues into cleaner waters before organs flood, and the soloing kicks in the power. Keys rush as the pace gets faster, a psychedelic edge brushes track, and riffs entangle as the track heads off to its final destiny. 

Spirit Adrift’s power just gets more intense and infectious with every album, to which I’m sure we sound like a broken record since we seem to repeat that every time. But it’s true, and “Enlightened in Eternity” takes things to an even higher level with these eight songs that capture you from moment one and whisk you off on a fantastical journey. This is a really special band putting out totally genuine, moving heavy metal in a time when pessimism is at its apex, and we could all use something to get our energies in a more positive place.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/SpiritAdrift

To buy the album, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/spiritadrift

For more on the label, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/

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