Spirit Adrift – Forge Your Future (EP Review)

Buoyed rather than trapped by the pandemic, Spirit Adrift recently released Forge Your Future, a fresh EP of three new tunes, out on Friday, August 27th through Century Media.

Forge Your Future marks the band’s first effort since the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic began; its predecessor, Enlightened in Eternity, was written and recorded well before its October 2020 release date. Joining mainstays Nate Garrett (guitars, vocals, bass) and Marcus Bryant (drums) is again Preston Bryant (synthesizers), brother to the latter. Additionally, after working on Enlightened in Eternity, Ryan Bram returns to handle board duties, this time with newcomer Zeuss (Christopher Harris).

Taken together, “Forge Your Future” is the slow warm-up number, “Wake Up” occupies the middle seat with NWOBHM speed and structure, with “Invisible Enemy” coming in as is the just-right porridge, mixing the dirge and thrash of its two companions. It may be recency bias, but the closer takes the mantle as the best track: beautiful clean guitar work throughout, with the extra magic starting at the halfway point. Nate Garrett can write riffs with the best of his contemporaries, if not all time, and the galloping progression that follows screams Heavy Metal writ large as fans have come to expect from Spirit Adrift.

As noted, “Wake Up” is the sprinter of the group, centered around a hair-raising riff straight out of the decade switch from Seventies to Eighties. It is a bit reductive to call Spirit Adrift a “Heavy Metal” band with a strong retro feel, as far too many current bands fit that mold without breaking it. Forge Your Future, however, continues the quest of Spirit Adrift to crack and defy description, and “Wake Up” is another contemporary classic, one that takes a quick glance over both shoulders before driving off into the present and future.

The lyrics revolve, somewhat ironically, around the selfish behavior of humanity at the height of the pandemic: the basic, reptilian response to protecting one’s self and hoarding things without concern for fellow man—toilet paper may serve a basic human need, but its scarcity at the slightest hint of danger belies basic human motivation. Opener “Forge Your Future” clocks as the slowest track, one which makes the inevitable dip back to the band’s slowest, earliest days as a Doom Metal stalwart, but with the most positive message of working through issues with strong, subtle determination, another timely topic.

Three songs may not whet most appetites’, despite running close to twenty minutes, but Forge Your Future gives fans enough to chew on before the inevitable glut of Spirit Adrift releases in the near future. Aptly taking a place on the mantle beside prior works, Cryptic Rock gives this EP 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

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