Spirit Adrift Chained to Oblivion Cover 2016 Everyone and their second cousin (twice removed) knows by now that there’s a glut of one-man black metal bands. You have a guitar, a barely functional computer, a mic, and some time to kill? That’s a perfect recipe to stave off boredom for at least a few months (or days, if you’re Vardan). One-man doom metal, though? That requires some serious time, dedication, and at least a decent knowledge of every instrument possible. Yet, Nate Garrett, guitarist for Arizona’s sludge machine Take Over and Destroy, is looking to prove us naysayers wrong as Spirit AdriftWith his debut full-length, Chained to Oblivion, Garrett proved his point spectacularly.

With a lumbering beat and some nice basslines, “Psychic Tide” lurches forth with all the Black Sabbath worship fit to choke a warhorse. When not worshiping at the Altar of Iommi, Garrett’s riffing pulls equally from The Order of Israfel‘s heft and Pallbearer‘s glimmer of melodic optimism. In fact, The Order of Israfel is a good reference point to make, as this is what that band would sound like with a better vocalist. Garrett possesses a haunting mid-range, but is not afraid to utilize Pallbearer-style harmonies in his delivery. With a beautiful dual lead guitar melody, the song plays itself out just under ten minutes later. Already, Chained to Oblivion impresses.

The other four songs stride like mammoths across a barren tundra. “Form and Force” plods gracefully, featuring some of Garrett’s best vocal performance and some exquisite lead work near the end. “Marzanna” marches like a funeral dirge, never showing any light or hope. But it’s closer “Hum of Our Existence” that leaves the deepest impression of all. Starting off with a programmed tribal beat before it fades out to his High on Fire-esque pummeling, Garrett saved all of his best tricks for last, incorporating enough riff changes, driving basslines, and incredible leads to keep your attention front and center. By the time the song ends with a solemn guitar melody and a vocal harmony that would make Pallbearer just a teensy-bit jealous, you can’t help but feel a bit drained yet satisfied. And that’s how doom metal should make you feel.

Sprit Adrift Band 2016
Of course, I can’t praise an album without a few criticisms, but thankfully they’re few but noteworthy. While all the instruments sound hefty and chewable, the lack of dynamics is noticeable. Also noticeable is the sheer length of the album. At five songs and 47 minutes, that’s a lot to digest, and a bit of self-editing would help significantly down the road. Some of the songs could lose a couple of minutes in spots, and the overall impact of Chained to Oblivion wouldn’t be hurt.

Nitpicking aside, Spirit Adrift joined the ranks of Pallbearer and Crypt Sermon among American doom metal bands to look out for. Garrett should be proud of his accomplishments here. Writing and performing solo on an impressive debut album, especially in a saturated genre like doom, is no easy feat, and he pulled it off flawlessly. Hunt this one down.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Prosthetic Records
Websites: spiritadrift.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/SpiritAdrift
Releases Worldwide: August 12th, 2016

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  • Simon Shrimpton

    Excellent! Nothing sets the tone for summer more than some quality doom.

    • That sounds like a cruel summer.

      • Simon Shrimpton

        Well I have been left here on my own (and thusly I destroyed any kvlt credit I’ve painstakingly gathered)

        • Grymm

          And now I have mental images of Daniel LaRusso getting his ass kicked in the soccer field by members of Cobra Khai all while this song is playing.

          Thanks a lot.

          • Danny was a little bitch. Hail Cobra!

          • Grymm

            “You’re the best… *dramatic pause* AROOOOOOUND, ANDNOTHINGSGONNAEVERKEEPYOUDOOOOOOooooo-ooooo-ooooown…”

            *crane kick*

          • That move only works once and it was used in 1984.

          • Grymm

            Don’t forget the Infamous Dru(h)m Punch of 1986!

            *RUNS FAR, FAR AWAY*

          • If I had an inexhaustible supply of barrels, I’d roll and throw them at you.

          • Hulksteraus

            Donkey kong didn’t have horns… Damn, revealing my age there…

  • Syn

    This is a really good song! Surely too long, but very nice.

  • This is surprisingly solid for a one-man act. I’ll overlook the shot at The Order of Israfel for now….

    • Norfair Legend

      Via Vengeance is a really great one man doom project as well, if you’ve never partook in a listen. Harsh Conditions was just put out this year.

  • Skater art? Really? Are there a lot of people making skate videos to doom?

    Are people still making skate videos?

    • I really hope the answer to all your questions is yes.

      • Grymm

        Rodney Mullen and Tony Hawk FTW.

        Hawk just pulled another (and final) 900 recently on-tape.

  • Dr. Wvrm

    /four Pallbearer mentions

    At first you had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Comparing him to Pallbearer and Crypt Sermon, eh? Nice compliment! The song was quite good, and although it seemed to drag a bit on my first listen, that’s always the case with good doom metal.

  • Scourge

    Prosthetic Records FAQ

    Q: I’d really like this album on vinyl, but can I have a vinyl exclusive album cover? That one’s weird.
    A: What, you don’t like Legend of Zelda fanart?

  • Ket Sumpter

    really good listen…i know some time has passed but are you going to review the new Thank You Scientist CD?

  • Hulksteraus

    Me likes me some doom and this sounds good!

  • ricin_beans

    Dammit, I just finished cutting my playlist down and you guys had to review this :[

  • Bart the Repairman

    I wonder if he took the title for the track „Marzanna” from polish folk – it’s the name of a doll made of straw, which is burned and drowned in a river by kids, in a first day of spring. If we dig deeper, it turns out that this custom comes from old slavic beliefs where Morena (or Mora, Marmora etc.) was the goddess of winter and death. Makes sense if the song „marches like a funeral dirge”.
    Anyway, I don’t remember the last time when I was so excited about anything tagged as ‚doom’. This is amazing and knowing that all of this goodness comes from one man, makes my jaw hang even lower.

    • Spirit Adrift

      Sorry for the late reply. But yes, this is correct. Thank you for the kind words!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Right of topic but damn the site looks excellent!
    The last two back grounds were great but this is the best I’ve seen the site look in ages

  • El_Cuervo

    Not quite on Un levels of a tiny doom band blowing me away but not too far.

  • lennymccall

    Really digging this! I’d compare it a little closer to Khemmis than PB but it’s all good! Buying this Fri for sure.

    Also new Khemmis on 10/21!!!

  • Sergio

    This might be album of the year for me. Or Messa. Can’t get enough of both of them.