Album Review: Spirit Adrift Unleashes ‘Ghost At The Gallows’ with a Fresh Take on Classic Heavy Metal

by Barbara

In the wake of their flawless 2020 LP, Enlightened In Eternity, Spirit Adrift cemented their status as a powerhouse in modern metal. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Type O Negative, Iron Maiden, and Ozzy Osbourne, among other giants, Spirit Adrift’s sonic landscape leaves no room for mediocrity, weaving monstrous riffs and intricately designed albums. Their fourth studio release, Ghost at the Gallows, not only revitalizes classic heavy metal elements but introduces an array of inventive twists and unconventional song structures. For devoted followers who’ve been with the band since 2016’s Chained To Oblivion, Ghost at the Gallows emerges as the epitome of the band’s refinement. Yet, amidst Spirit Adrift’s skillful blend of classic metal nostalgia and innovation, a pivotal question lingers—can the band’s vintage approach resonate with a modern and broader audience?

This question bears significance due to the undeniable talents of Spirit Adrift’s musicians and songwriters, most notably founder and lead songwriter Nate Garrett (guitar/vocals). The album’s crowning glory lies in the abundance of colossal riffs and awe-inspiring guitar moments that punctuate Ghost at the Gallows. It’s no secret that Spirit Adrift excels in crafting riffs and unleashing fiery dual guitar solos. However, the album pleasantly surprises with its diverse song arrangements.

A standout, “These Two Hands,” marks a refreshing departure for the band. It delivers a poignant acoustic arrangement accompanied by Garrett’s heartfelt vocals, imbuing an air of solemn intimacy. Speaking of lyrics, the album delves deeply into themes of grief. Garrett divulged, “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.” This emotional depth is palpable across the eight tracks, reaching its pinnacle in the climactic title track, a standout as one of the band’s finest compositions.

Despite my admiration for the achievements of Ghost at the Gallows, a pivotal question emerges—how does a band of Spirit Adrift’s caliber, armed with arena-sized riffs and virtuosity, make their presence known in arenas? The giants they draw inspiration from, like Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, and Metallica, are nearing the end of their careers. Will seasoned metal enthusiasts turn to newer acts like Spirit Adrift to fill the void? This inquiry remains unanswered, but I am convinced that Spirit Adrift must stretch beyond their comfort zone to elevate their trajectory and capture a wider audience.

By embracing innovation while preserving the heart of classic heavy metal, Spirit Adrift possesses the potential to not only make their mark on the genre but also carve a distinctive niche for themselves among the ever-evolving soundscape of modern music.

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