Not to be confused with German band Spirit Descent, Spirit Adrift is a side project from the Phoenix sludge and death metal scenes, with members also doing time in outfits like Goya, TOAD and Gatecreeper. Their first album, Chained to Oblivion, was a solo effort, with one guy playing all the instruments—but they’ve since expanded to a four-piece for this, their second slab of epic doom metal.
“Earthbound” keeps us grounded off the start, beginning with an acoustic guitar intro before the first crushing doom riff kicks in. And yet, they don’t bury it in fuzz and distortion—despite the looming heaviness, there are a lot of clean guitar tones. The initial vocal reminds me of Candlemass, and they certainly follow in the footsteps of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. Later on in the album, “Spectral Saviour” sounds like it could’ve came straight from the brain of Leif Edling. But that’s not to say they sound derivative—the band carves out its own niche somewhere between Apostle of Solitude, Orodruin and Pale Divine.
The title track oozes doom and gloom from its first vocal-driven verse, layering on the heavy riffs and breakdowns in a dish best served low ‘n slow. The riffs keep coming, with “To Fly on Broken Wings” throwing a couple power-metal flourishes into its more up-tempo attack, while “Starless Age” brings things down with a bluesier, Floydian take on doom, before picking up the pace to a classic metal gallop around the 3:30 mark. Even if you’re not necessarily into doom, a fan of classic NWOBHM would probably dig this.
And, suffice to say, if you’re into the whole Circle of True Doom and all that good stuff, this here is your new jam.