Spirit Adrift, 20 Centuries Gone (Century Media 2022)

Texas metal band Sprit Adrift reflects on days gone by with 20 Centuries Gone.

Springing up from Austin in 2015, Spirit Adrift began on the doom side of the field and moved quickly toward full-force, straight-ahead heavy metal. Loaded with unforgettable riffs and stunning lead guitar work, the music they play will make them one of your favorite acts the first time you hear them. Their flawless live performances ensure their place as a big draw at festivals and as a must-see for any tour they are on.

There are two new songs on the latest EP and six covers. The first original is “Sorcerer’s Fate.” It starts out steady with a hook that does the trick and draws you in. A charging chop follows and then we hear Nate Garrett’s solid-as-a-rock vocals. A bridge leads us to a different perspective on this dark fantasy journey, and off we walk into the distance. “Mass Formation Psychosis” follows, opening with cautious acoustic strums that break for dramatic electrical instigations. The song settles into a feisty doom posture and we are thenceforth entranced. It is a superlative heavy track that goes out on a rugged, heady riff.

The songs Spirit Adrift chooses to cover are mostly lesser-known tunes from seminal artists in metal and rock. I like this approach very much as it draws attention to work that fans might not be as familiar with, even if they are fans of the band in question. The songs are “Everything Dies” (Type O Negative), “Hollow” (Pantera), “Escape” (Metallica), “Waiting For An Alibi” (Thin Lizzy), “Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings” (ZZ Top), and “Poison Whiskey” (Lynyrd Skynyrd). Quite a selection, huh?

The variety of musical types and formations across the cover tunes is formidable. The gothic saturation of the Type O Negative song paired with the solemn sorrow of Pantera’s “Sorrow” and then on to the more rambunctious attitude of “Escape” is a conjuror’s amalgamation. Any time a Thin Lizzy song plays, original or cover, my soul brightens, and “Waiting For An Alibi” is a fantastic track. Goddamn I miss Thin Lizzy, even after all this time. Spirit Adrift captures the ZZ Top fuzz just right, and that Lynyrd Skynyrd cover might be the most recognizable of the bunch to a broad audience. I like everything about this record. Set all else aside and listen to it right now. Highly recommended.

20 Centuries Gone is out now on digital. Find it through the band’s website (link below). Spirit Adrift still has a couple of tour dates with Crowbar, then they will be back out again later this year. They are an exceptional live band – make sure you see them whenever you get a chance.

Photos by Wayne Edwards taken at Piere’s Entertainment Center in 2022.

Links.

Spirit Adrift website, https://www.spiritadrift.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SpiritAdrift/

Century Media, https://www.centurymedia.com/artist/spirit-adrift

© Wayne Edwards

Spirit Adrift, 20 Centuries Gone (Century Media 2022)

Crowbar and Spirit Adrift at Piere’s, Ft. Wayne, July 31, 2022

It was a big night of monstrous riffs at Piere’s when Crowbar and Spirit Adrift stormed the stage, along with openers Wolftooth, Blood Of Heroes, and Lust Witch.

You know The Riff Beast Tour is well named if you have ever heard Crowbar. As the headliner and anchor of the evening, they provided the biggest, most massive guitar pronouncements. There were many incredible preludes as well when the opening acts were on the stage.

First up was Indianapolis doom band Lust Witch. This trio is working on a new EP called We All Die Alone, and you’ll be able to grab before too long. I love doom metal so this was the perfect way to start the evening as far as I was concerned. The band was already playing when I got inside the venue and I am sorry I missed part of their set because I really liked what I heard.

Danville, Illinois metal band Blood of Heroes came next. Having recently signed with Dark Star Records, they have several up-coming dates to promote their presence and get ready for more roadwork and newly recorded music. They play in a heavy metal groove lane, and put out an energetic live performance. I am looking forward to the follow-up to their debut album Symbolic Voices (AMG).

Wolftooth is from Richmond, Indiana. Their most recent album is Blood & Iron (Napalm Records), and they played several songs from that set. Their record label describes their sound as “offering a colossal slab of genuine, proto-metal influenced heaviness with a deep dose of doom essence and addictive stoner riffage to boot.” I can’t argue with that. Spirit Adrift’s lead singer described them as “corn-fed Iron Maiden,” and certainly their sound can be experienced in the Iron Maiden vein. Whenever you see them on a bill, make sure you get to that show.

I have written about Spirit Adrift regularly since I saw them for the first time at Aftershock in 2019. They are a straight-up heavy metal band with killer hooks and amazing guitar work. Lead singer and guitarist Nate Garrett has an ideal voice for their brand of music, and every time I have seen them has been an occasion. I would go to festival on the strength of them performing there alone. Spirit Adrift has a new EP coming out soon with a couple of originals and a half dozen covers – expect to hear a lot more about that album in this column when it drops.

Crowbar is an iconic sludge metal band. Fronted by the legendary Kirk Windstein, Crowbar has been putting out music for more than thirty years. Zero and Below is their newest album, and it forms the basis for the current Riff Beast Tour. When I was reviewing that record, I wrote, in part, “Windstein’s vocals blast power and energy that combine with the titanic riffs and percussion to forge an instantly recognizable and unforgettable sound.” Somehow, in all my years I had never seen Crowbar live. I don’t know how that is possible, but the situation was remedied on the last day of July in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Crowbar is out for the next few weeks with Spirit Adrift. Both bands continue after that in separate directions for dozens of dates throughout 2022. Go out and see them when they enter your orbit. It’ll be a show you talk about for months to come.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Band Links.

Crowbar, https://crowbar.bandcamp.com/

Spirit Adrift, https://spiritadrift.bandcamp.com/

Wolftooth, https://wolftooth.bandcamp.com/

Blood Of Heroes, https://www.bloodofheroes.net/

Lust Witch, https://www.facebook.com/Lust-Witch-110221191691214/

Piere’s Entertainment Center, https://pieresentertainment.com/

Photo Galleries.

Spirit Adrift, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/08/06/photo-gallery-spirit-adrift-at-pieres-ft-wayne-july-31st-2022/

Wolftooth, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/08/05/photo-gallery-wolftooth-at-pieres-ft-wayne-july-31st-2022/

Blood Of Heroes, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/08/04/photo-gallery-blood-of-heroes-at-pieres-ft-wayne-july-31st-2022/

Lust Witch, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/08/03/photo-gallery-lust-witch-at-pieres-ft-wayne-july-31st-2022/

© Wayne Edwards

Crowbar and Spirit Adrift at Piere’s, Ft. Wayne, July 31, 2022

Photo Gallery: Spirit Adrift at Piere’s, Ft. Wayne, July 31, 2022

Spirit Adrift is the special guest on Crowbar’s Riff Beast Tour. Here are some photos from their performance at Piere’s in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Spirit Adrift, https://spiritadrift.bandcamp.com/

Century Media, https://www.centurymedia.com/artist/spirit-adrift

Piere’s Entertainment Center, https://pieresentertainment.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Photo Gallery: Spirit Adrift at Piere’s, Ft. Wayne, July 31, 2022

Spirit Adrift, Forge Your Future (Century Media Records 2021)

The new EP from Spirit Adrift stokes the flame of perseverance with the rumble of heavy metal.

Spirit Adrift has made the most of the few years the band has been around, releasing four full-length albums since 2016, most recently 2020’s Enlightened In Eternity. The band has built a reputation for reliability and continues to produce straight-ahead rock and roll for the growing and ever-loyal fan base. I saw their live performance at Aftershock in Sacramento a couple years ago and it is certainly one of the most memorable parts of that festival for me. There is a grit and determination in the stage presence you don’t often see. They were there for the music first and foremost and that commitment came through in every note.

There are three songs on the new EP. “Forge Your Future” has a nice doom feel to it with the gentle intro and the heavy riff framing that set up a powerful vocal performance. There is a steady, unimpeded heavy metal force that propels the music forward to its sonic conclusion. “Wake Up” is more active and openly aggressive in posture while still carrying the heavy weight with a guitar-centered attack.

The third tack is “Invisible Enemy,” and it presents an epic attitude and then delivers on that promise. An old school metal structure is the foundation you could rest a battleship on and they use it to set up a big production. Halfway through there is a quiet bridge leading to a renewed energetic charge to the end. This set is another fine addition to the growing catalogue of Spirit Adrift. Recommended.

Forge Your Future is out now, limited to 1,000 units in the physical. There is a digital release as well.

Live photos by Wayne Edwards from Aftershock 2019.

Links.

Spirit Adrift website, https://www.spiritadrift.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SpiritAdrift

Century Media Records, https://centurymedia.store/product/Y4CE419COMBO/spirit-adrift-forge-your-future-black-lp-digital-download

Spirit Adrift, Forge Your Future (Century Media Records 2021)

Happy New Year’s Eve 2020

I don’t have to tell you about 2020 – you were there, too. Usually, at the end of the year, I spend December choosing some photos to repost for good vibes and great memories, but this year I didn’t take a single photograph of a live show. Yeah. So, I am going to post a few photos from 2019 that did not see that light of day then, just for fun. I am keeping the cameras warm for 2021 because hope springs eternal.

There was a lot of excellent music released this year. We published 188 reviews in 2020, a lot more than we thought we would. There are so many “Best of 2020” lists out there that I decided not to do one for FFMB. Instead, I am throwing up a couple of covers from albums we didn’t review this year that were really good – just couldn’t get to everything. We’ll try to do better in 2021.

Thanks to everybody involved with Flying Fiddlesticks Music Blog and the Shardik Media Cabal. Deep gratitude and thanks to all the bands, record labels, venues, publicists, and promoters keeping music alive for all of us.

We’re still here and we are carrying on in 2021. See you out there.

All live performance photos by Wayne Edwards.

Aftershock

Heavy Montreal

Clubs

Albums

© Wayne Edwards.

Happy New Year’s Eve 2020

2019 In Review, Gallery Days 8-15

Day 15 — Perdition Temple at Higher Ground Ballroom
Day 14 — Bring Me The Horizon at Aftershock
Day 13 — Korn at Aftershock
Day 12 — Halestorm at Aftershock
Day 11 (matinee) — Cancer Bats at Heavy Montreal
Day 11 — Municipal Waste at Heavy Montreal
Day 10 — Cleopatrick at Sonic Temple
Day 9 — Chevelle at Aftershock
Day 8 — Spirit Adrift at Aftershock

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

© Wayne Edwards.

2019 In Review, Gallery Days 8-15