- Spirit Adrift
- Divided By Darkness
- Heavy Metal
I got onto this one on bandcamp because of the album cover. It’s pretty awesome and something I noticed is that there’s the artist signature at the bottom, there’s a good idea for you cover artists frustrated by bands or labels not giving credit on promo and bandcamp. This one is done by Joe Petagno. He’s done other Spirit Adrift records but I haven’t heard them. You can visit Joe’s site here and his impressive discog here. This artwork brings to mind Dark Souls but most things do, it’s a condition. I like how he’s filled wherever space would be with some kind of dangerous creature or symbol. There’s a lot going.
It’s stated Spirit Adrift are doom but there’s a lighter melodic metal approach to it that’s very nice. A lot of older inspirations from early doom/heavy metal and early melodeath in the vocals and build ups. It feels like what Firelink was to black metal this year and it’s a release near on par with that in terms of music quality. It’s not the atypical expectation from the genre tag and I enjoy that, it’s refreshing and uses some forgotten aspects of it. It’s not associated with modern doom in any way that I can see.
It’s a blender of experiences, I particularly love the inclusion of the doom ballad in the middle of the album, the track Angel & Abyss, it really calls back to the days of Iced Earth and Witchfinder General. But even that ballad gives way completely to an Ozzy Osbourne fueled rhythm guitar under a series of soaring lead licks. There’s a compulsion to show off that mostly works due to talent but can interrupt some of the slower moments. The vocalist is clearly very good, with a varied singing background but never takes it deep or dark, basically choir singing when not doing the old heavy metal wide singing. I would have liked to have heard a darker side even on just one track because sometimes it feels like the instruments are setting up for that level of heavy payoff but ultimately doesn’t, instead choosing to bleed off into a different melodic direction.
They certainly end the album nicely with a longer track that spent more time on each progression and new sound introduced, building up into a flurry of battling guitars. There’s a lot to enjoy overall as a metal fan but in terms of releases this month this one is lacking in an engaging theme. The lyrics are quite basic and call to mind most of power metal, even Demons & Wizards (Should I revisit them? They were the shit when I was a teen, I think I will). It’s pretty formula driven or at least mixed for mainstream consideration. Something that’s clearly working for their current popularity and for relisting, but doesn’t speak to me as a writer in any way or really give me much to say beyond, it’s an easy listen.