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Spirit Adrift – Chained To Oblivion album review

Psychedelic summonings from the swamps of Arkansas, with the new album from Spirit Adrift

Spirit Adrift, 'Chained To Oblivion' album cover

Essentially the solo project of Arkansas multi-instrumentalist Nate Garrett, Spirit Adrift released a broadly innovative two-song EP last year and now return with five tracks stacked with ginormous downtuned riffs, sludgy tempos and bluesy, pentatonic voyaging.

Behind a fist-pumping dual-fretboard attack, bruisers like Psychic Tide and Chained To Oblivion sound like Amon Amarth and Down hooked up for a late night, Jack Daniel’s-and-weed-fuelled jam session.

Closer Hum Of Our Existence suggests that it might break into a windswept gallop but instead plunges into a crumbling doom onslaught. Where other swamp metallers serve up similar Sabbath riffs baked in ragged hardcore aggression, SA hew closer to the mindbending trippiness of Edgar Winter, particularly in the bludgeoning psychedelia of Form And Force. Tempos remain glacial and with the average track tipping north of nine minutes, some of the jamming feels unfocused, but there are so many lighter-hoising hooks and cosmically-oriented solos that Garrett can be forgiven for. Like bourbon, this LP will age exceedingly well.

Joe Daly
Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.