The Austin Chronicle

Spirit Adrift Album Review

Enlightened in Eternity (20 Buck Spin)

By Kevin Curtin, October 16, 2020, Music

Most metalheads living in Texas head straight to the occult or fantasy sections of their local Half Price Books. Nathan Garrett no doubt peruses titles in the inspiration & personal growth nook. Owning a dramatic and expansive heavy metal sound, Spirit Adrift's fourth full-length gallops through a philosophically epic song set focused on metaphysical awakenings and untapped personal power.

Opening driver "Riding Into the Light" commences with climactic fretboard tapping while Garrett's biting tenor imagines a post-war consciousness: "Laying down my sword, found a better way." Epitomizing the musical diversity of Enlightened in Eternity, the succeeding "Astral Levitation" begins as crisp midtempo rocker, morphs into a danceable break with pulsing bass triplets before stomping on the gas pedal, and finally posits anti-determinism and manifestation: "There is nowhere that you can't be seen if you let yourself be free/ There is nothing that can't be done if you let it come to be." Later, the blistering "Harmony of the Spheres" vibrates a theme of universal oneness: "I was born in armageddon, a billion years in a millisecond/ The universe in a single cell, seeker of heaven, creator of hell."

Extraordinary vocal performances both melodic and gritty, Garrett continues an evolution of possessed delivery hinted at on 2019's Divided by Darkness, but a cosmos away from his wail on the outfit's seminal doom. Drummer Marcus Bryant, meanwhile, anchors the album with sonically huge, tastefully spacious beats that navigate varied tempos, including 11-minute space rock closer "Reunited in the Void." Garrett's guitar work, full of colorful harmonies and syncopated chugging, hits a highlight on the endless riff-buffet "Stronger Than Your Pain."

That track, which speaks of melting away the ego in the "sanctuary of the self," capsulizes Enlightened in Eternity's uplifting proposal: perseverance through breaking reality.


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