I had a very proud uncle moment the other week. My niece is two and a half years old, and is obviously well brought up. My brother text me to say that he’d been doing her tea in the kitchen and she’d marched in from the other room to argue about his Spotify choices: “Daddy,” she said. “That’s not Eddie. We need Eddie!”

I should explain at this point, that to the littlest Thorley, Eddie is Iron Maiden. So “Two Minutes To Midnight” was queued up and she was happy.

That story proves a number of things (not least of which is that I’ll have someone to take me to Iron Maiden gigs while in my dotage), it speaks to the popularity of the music and the fact that this thing will never die.

Which is where Spirit Adrift come in, because, frankly, most modern metal doesn’t do a lot for me (I am in my mid 40s, you’re going to have to let me off here), but these two (Nate Garrett and Marcus Bryant) manage to pull off the neatest trick of all. They let you think they are modern and classic all at once.

Last year – just under a year back – they released a quite astonishing record. “Enlightened In Eternity” (“they play Heavy Metal. Except they don’t” was my assessment of it) would – were I arsed with polls – be the sort of thing that would have ridden high. Now they are back with this EP – and there’s a very real chance it is better still.

“Forge Your Future” (the album and the track) is beautifully tough to pin down. Starting with all the prog gravitas of latter day Maiden, locking into a groove and a lead that is drier than the Kyuss’ dust. That’s all before anyone has opened a mouth too.

When Nate sings, he’s kind of Dio, and the lyrics appear to be from the OTT end, “I saw the future and it set me free” he sings as the hook. Then there’s the solo. Double guitars if you don’t mind. Like Scott Gorham. How do they do it? Who cares? Just be glad they do.

“Wake Up” begins with an arena shaking riff. Like, serious chops, like a guitarist with a fan in the front of the stage so his hair blows back levels of ace-ness, and it slams. Equal parts Ozzy Osborne, a 70s romp and screeching hard rocker, it is shot through with a real quality.

“Invisible Enemy” flirts with thrash, does more power metal than Hammerfall. But that’s just for starters. It also fancies being a NWOBHM gallop and has its fists in the air.

Indeed, when Garrett roars the bombastic first line “you’ve been hiding in plain sight,” its tempting to think he’s talking about the band itself. Then, I guess, genius often does, doesn’t it?

Spirit Adrift then: I am calling it right now. The most innovative band in metal today – as well as being one of its best, and arguably its future kings.

Rating 9.5/10

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