“Spirit Adrift‘s gimmick is simple: there is no gimmick,” states the band’s mastermind, Nate Garrett. “Just great songs, great heavy riffs, catchy parts that make you want to bang your head and uplifting parts that make you want to fly into the sky.” With Ghost At The Gallows, out today on Century Media, Garrett has delivered Spirit Adrift’s most fully realized work to date; a record that confidently stands at the crossroads of heavy metal at its most epic and elemental and hard rock at its most honest and heartfelt.
In celebration of the album’s release, Spirit Adrift have shared a music video for the pummeling new single “Hanged Man’s Revenge.” The song is a stripped-down metal monster that goes for the throat and doesn’t relent, and channels the most thrilling aspects of old-school speed metal, double-bass drum fury, ripping riffs and solos, and powerful vocals, climaxing in a groovy outro that is sure to get heads banging. Nate Garrett comments, “The lyrics are a call to arms, urging the listener to rise up and grab life by the horns in a post-pandemic world of reinvigorated possibilities.”
The road to Ghost At The Gallows was nothing short of massive undertaking. Garrett has been weaving the sonic tapestry of Spirit Adrift since 2015, marking his own personal growth from doom metal and his much-documented sobriety to today’s sonic triumph with Ghost At The Gallows. “I wanted to write something timeless, that summed up the entire journey of Spirit Adrift,” says Nate. The album intricately pulls together every element of Garrett’s riff-mongering musical mastery to arrive at a conclusion and start a new chapter for Spirit Adrift.
“Subconsciously, each album I do tends to have a theme or make a point,” says Nate. “I didn’t realize it when I was writing, but the new album seems to encapsulate the grieving process. I realized when I was done with it that lyrically all the stages of grief are present. It’s a way to mourn, it’s a way to grieve, to take painful things that happen in our lives and make something powerful and positive out of it. That’s been the goal with this band from day one.”
From the start in 2015, it didn’t take long for Spirit Adrift to strike a very loud, resounding chord with worshippers of the riff. By the time they released 2017’s Curse of Conception and 2019’s Divided by Darkness (both on 20 Buck Spin) what began as Garrett’s solo project had taken on a life of its own, placing high on year-end polls and filling clubs as Nate and an ad-hoc amalgamation of friends and bandmates brought his songs to volume-dealing life. “I’ve noticed that it really resonated with people who have gone through a lot of significant challenges in their lives,” states Nate. “Which eventually will be all of us.” Garrett attributes this to “a different level of human connection when you’re writing something real and trying to represent that musically.” The influence of “Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Slayer and also growing up in the South, really loving old sincere country music, bluegrass and stuff like that” is the sonic soul of Spirit Adrift according to Nate.
2020 saw the release of Spirit Adrift’s Century Media debut, Enlightened In Eternity (a split release with 20-Buck Spin in North America); Garrett set to work forging a more permanent line-up for the spirited, energized release. As Covid restrictions lifted, Spirit Adrift began to hit the road as a band with a solidified and freshly empowered line-up – bassist Sonny DeCarlo, drummer Mike Arellano and ex-Carcass guitarist Tom Draper – touring with the likes of High on Fire, Yob, Crowbar and Corrosion of Conformity.
Ghost At The Gallows builds upon Nate Garrett’s already impressive legacy of reinventing the steel by leaps and bounds. While prior records were largely solo affairs, Ghost At The Gallows is the closest Spirit Adrift has come to capturing a band vibe. “While we didn’t track this record as a full, live band, Mike and I did track live with drums and guitar to capture that real, raw explosive human energy that’s imperfect and dynamic. I think it shines through,” says Nate of the studio sessions.
With Sanford Parker at Chicago’s Electrical Audio and Jeff Henson at Texas’s Red Nova Ranch engineering and co-producing alongside Garrett, and legendary Zeuss (Queensryche, Hatebreed) handling mixing and mastering duties, Ghost At The Gallows takes chances few of Spirit Adrift’s riff-obsessed brethren could possibly approach.
Ghost At The Gallows is out everywhere now on Century Media, and Spirit Adrift will be playing shows in select markets this August with Pallbearer and Rwake in addition to a special west coast appearance at Metal Injection Fest.
Spirit Adrift, on tour:
August 25 Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard *
August 26 Dallas, TX @ Studio at the Factory *
August 27 Little Rock, AR @ Rev Room *
September 17 Anaheim, CA @ Metal Injection Festival ^
* w/ Pallbearer, Rwake
^ w/ Testament, Machine Head, Fear Factory & more