Review: SPIRIT ADRIFT – Chained to Oblivion

MsRayV0511 Reviews 0 Comments

Released: Aug 9, 2016
T. Ray Verteramo

Doom has the unfortunate stigma of being a masturbatory medium where the same riff is played as long as the time it takes you to go to the bar, find the bathroom, call your mom, play a pinball game, and get back to the stage and not miss a thing.

What’s really unfortunate is that this is usually true.

But, now, enter Spirit Adrift, an Arizonian one-man outfit newly signed to Prosthetic records, who was able to use the medium to a conceptual advantage.

The story has it that Nate Garrett, the guitarist of Gatecreeper and TOAD, purposely formulated this project as his own psychotherapeutic exorcism from a crippling addiction. However, what makes this forty-five minute long EP extraordinary is that you can hear it.

The listeners know exactly what’s going on and by using clever mechanisms, such as retro-70’s style reverb and 20-pound riffs on the “H” note, they are even able empathize and take this painful, draining journey with the artist.

It begins with “Psychic Tide,” with what sounds like a drum sound check at a dive gig. Nothing remarkable until the guitars build into the procession and the vocals shimmer and quake over the dark smear of noise. The suggestion of Acid Rock influences is a perfect nuance to trigger that mental psychedelic assumption, while using the slow, elephant riffs to take the high out of it. The clean singing was also smart, as the lyrics partake in a significant role in the play.


“Marzanna” continues the motif, but takes a more desperate turn where you can hear the cold “burning into winter.” The quivering vibrato translates into the guitar solo and extends to an external level, where the sickness has leaked into his external world.  “Form and Force” grips tighter into the audial vice created by the medium until “Chained to Oblivion” whispers and trickles, almost weeping through the strings. And then, a resounding, “No!” explodes into the verse – the epiphany until the finale, “The Hum of Our Existence,” pats away the percussive message which relays that life still sucks, but at least it was no longer their fault.

This is true Doom. It is as close as depression can get to sounding beautiful.

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