People will see the light, alright
Nate Garrett knows his way around a guitar. His fretwork, his riffs—everything about the way he works a guitar is undeniably gifted. Up until last year, a lot of that ferocity was spent bolstering his other band, Gatecreeper, but Spirit Adrift has been Garrett’s solo project for almost just as long, where he’s let not only his fretwork but his vocals shine. He’s recently made it his full-time gig, and based on Spirit Adrift’s discography so far, that was an advantageous choice. If people were to zero in on the latest release Enlightened In Eternity, what they’ll find is the product of someone fully able to focus on their craft and their craft alone.
Part of what makes Spirit Adrift so rousing is the ability to hook people in with the initial notes of each song. There isn’t one SA song that doesn’t have some type of captivating intro to it. The buildup of “Ride Into The Light” that opens up Enlightened In Eternity is almost cosmic, before bringing a full-on chug around the 35 seconds mark. “Harmony Of The Spheres” is incredibly thrashy right out of the gate, but one of the best instrumental prologues comes from the track that follows it. “Battle High” starts with some sultry cymbal play, much like that of Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet,” before it trades bluesy stylings for a particularly grimy refrain and some enjoyably gruff resonance from Garrett himself. If there’s one thing this album highlights other than the way Garrett prefaces a track, is how well his vocal rasp carries.
Both of these factors—along with his incredible technical prowess, of course—stand out the most on the album’s closing track “Reunited In The Void.” It’s the longest on the album at almost 11 minutes long, but each moment within it is used to the fullest. It takes its time in how it builds its speed since the majority of the track is more of a slow, near psychedelic logjam of drony croons and somewhat choral harmonies with the most laidback guitar playing on the record, before hitting the gas hard to its closeout with fast finger work and sped up pummelling around the last two minutes of the song. It didn’t need an overload of reckless riffing to make an impact—its mild (in comparison) nature was just enough, making it the perfect way to close out a record that brings such brute force.
In almost every sense, this is the most actualized Spirit Adrift record yet. Garrett’s full attention on the project paid off—not that the passion wasn’t always in his work before. It’s just even easier to hear now.