August 7, 2023

Started as a solo project by multi-instrumentalist Nate Garrett (ex-Gatecreeper) back in 2015, eight years later, Spirit Adrift is the closest they’ve ever been to a full-fledged band. The fifth album Ghost At The Gallows is coming out on August 18th via Century Media, following the longest, almost three-year gap between full-lengths. Garrett’s band has not been easy to pigeonhole in a specific genre, and the new album follows that rule, with NWOTHM being at the core, but with equal doses of doom, thrash, stoner-groove and even prog thrown in as well.

The first two tracks perfectly exemplify where Spirit Adrift’s greatest strengths are: the almighty riff and the beautifully composed solos. There is an obvious epic value and wind-swept “sword and sorcery” quality and influence in these songs, sure about that, but the crushing and memorable riffs steal the show every time. Give Her To The River, Death Won’t Stop Me, Siren Of The South are the songs with the best choruses, while the melancholic These Two Hands reminds of later Psychotic Waltz (there is even a cello to be heard!) and the closing title-track relies on a mesmerizing tempo and beautiful guitar harmony repetitions. I can’t avoid the thought that Spirit Adrift have managed to compose the riffs Metallica needed to make their new album a masterpiece. However, Nate Garrett and Co. are a beast of their own and all the better for that. Mike Arellano has done a fantastic job on drums, and Tom Draper (Ponder, ex-Hammers Of Misfortune, ex-Carcass) has contributed some amazing lead guitar parts.

Ghost At The Gallows is an album that needs attention and patience. The music reveals something new and exciting with every spin and I am somehow sure that this album will not just stay in end-of-year lists but will have a staying quality. The album also sounds huge, which is not a surprise, because it’s been mixed and mastered by Zeuss. It’s not easy to blend so different subgenres of metal in such an original and inspiring way, but Spirit Adrift have succeeded just eight years after the band was created. If you want to listen to great metal, look no further.

9/10


Spirit Adrift’s Bandcamp

Ghost At The Gallows can be pre-ordered from HERE