Spirit Adrift’s sophomore LP, Curse of Conception, drops October 6 via 20 Buck Spin. And when it does, you’ll be treated to the breakthrough doom metal album of 2017. That actually sells the record a little short, as various shades of rock, traditional metal and even an early Metallica vibe color Curse of Conception. “Starless Age (Enshrined),” the second track revealed from the LP, exemplifies this approach. Drink it in here and then read the brief interview with Spirit Adrift founder and creative force Nate Garrett for further context.
Some of us older farts hear vintage-era (Ride the Lightning, particularly) in the riffing and solos throughout the record. That’s evident on this track, too. Was that a conscious influence?
Nate Garrett: Absolutely. I put a concerted effort into making a classic sounding heavy metal album. This might sound delusional, but the honest truth is that my objective was to make an album in the vein of the greatest heavy metal albums ever made; albums like Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, Screaming for Vengeance, Volume 4. I’m not necessarily saying we made one of the greatest heavy metal albums ever, I’m just saying that was the conscious goal. During and following the writing and recording of Curse of Conception, I’ve found myself obsessively revisiting the bands that first got me into metal when I was a kid—Metallica and Judas Priest in particular. It’s a win-win situation, because I’ve recaptured some of that youthful energy and I’m more excited to play and listen to music than I have been since I was a teenager.
It’s evident that Spirit Adrift’s lyrics are pretty personal. Are you willing to discuss the theme of “Starless Age (Enshrined)” a bit?
The lyrics have always been personal, but this album takes it to another level. There are multiple storylines occurring lyrically on Curse of Conception. One is a surface-level metaphorical narrative, one is deeply personal, and one was completely unconscious. That one I wasn’t even aware of while I was writing the lyrics, but certain things happened in my life that opened my eyes to some of the underlying subject matter. On surface level, “Starless Age” is coming from a pretty angry place. I was writing it leading up to and immediately following the presidential election and I was just shocked and disgusted with humanity, even more so than usual. I suppose this song is questioning whether or not human life really has any inherent value, and pondering if we’re even worthy of existing. That’s one of the themes of the album, as well. The moment we are born, our life force is corrupted. The longer we live, the more contaminated our energy becomes. All the themes throughout the record are related to that idea somehow. Not wanting to be alive. Not wanting anyone to be alive. But as with everything Spirit Adrift does, there will always be a glimmer of hope in there somewhere.
This will be your first release with 20 Buck Spin, who have released material from Khemmis and Pallbearer. Do you consider those bands kindred spirits to Spirt Adrift?
I go way back with Pallbearer. We’re all from Arkansas and I’ve been knowing some of those dudes for 10 years at this point. They’re some of my closest friends. Same with Khemmis. I haven’t known them for as long but they’re wonderful people and have been so generous to us. I definitely consider all of us kindred spirits. We all grew up loving and appreciating a lot of the same stuff. Again, I think Metallica, Sabbath and Priest would be the common ground there. Plus, the obvious doom bands like Trouble and Saint Vitus. I look forward to witnessing the continuation of the paths each band is carving.