Spirit Adrift
Divided by Darkness


4.5
superb

Review

by PsychicChris USER (289 Reviews)
May 14th, 2019 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Artistic evolution through greater accessibility

In a move that feels inevitable with their rising trajectory, Spirit Adrift has greatly streamlined their sound on Divided by Darkness. After subsisting on a hybrid of doom and classic metal for their first two efforts, their third sees the latter style winning out. The tempos are still rather middle of the road and the atmosphere is as somber as ever, but the structures are more straightforward with tighter performances to match. Superficial comparisons could still be made to Pallbearer or Khemmis, but I find myself drawing far more parallels to groups like Visigoth or Grand Magus.

This stylistic alteration is best demonstrated by the shifts in musicianship. While the guitar retains the crystalline tone seen on 2017’s Curse of Conception, the actual playing is far more intricate with the leads indulging in plenty of opportunities to shred and harmonize while the riffs work with the fat bass and hard-hitting drums to showcase bouncy rhythms. In addition, bandleader Nate Garrett’s vocal lines are delivered almost exclusively in the highest reaches of his range though he thankfully maintains the confessional tone that defined past efforts. The watery, distant production job also reinforces this movement as a natural evolution.

And though the songwriting is more compact here, the results may be among Spirit Adrift’s most diverse thus far. The more ballad-oriented tracks, “Angel & Abyss” and “The Way of Return,” arguably show the most growth as the former wallows in soft sadness before easing into a faster climax while the latter is a sweeping instrumental that closes things out in uplifting fashion. In addition, the bulldozing melancholy on “Tortured by Time” makes for a great link to the past and I can appreciate the more direct muscle on songs like “We Will Not Die” and “Hear Her.”

I wouldn’t expect Divided by Darkness to be a major commercial breakthrough but it is a great example of artistic evolution through greater accessibility. The tempo shifts aren’t so drastic as to alienate doom fans and the mournful aesthetic gives the band a unique edge compared to most traditional metal fare. It also seems to yield more substance with multiple listens, which keeps its leaner approach from feeling too dumbed down. I think this Spirit may still be drifting toward their magnum opus, but this could very well be their strongest offering so far.

Highlights:
“Angel & Abyss”
“Tortured by Time”
“Hear Her”
“The Way of Return”

Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com



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user ratings (37)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Papa Universe
May 14th 2019


20987 Comments


hey, that's the band who are Dewinged's nephews, right?
divided by POS

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CaptainDooRight
May 14th 2019


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is their best

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CaptainDooRight
May 14th 2019


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and 289 revs with 97% approval why is this man not a contrib or at least the president of the United States

necropig
May 14th 2019


5349 Comments


Thank you Chris, very cool

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WatchItExplode
May 14th 2019


6673 Comments


Chris is more machine than man. Spotlights some great stuff too.

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Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


15778 Comments


Oh this is Papa bgillesp favorite band, isn't it?

Great review dude, heard a lot of good things about this, will have to czech.

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Archelirion
May 14th 2019


5691 Comments


'and 289 revs with 97% approval why is this man not a contrib or at least the president of the United States' [2] tbh

haven't heard these guys since the debut LP which I loved and I still don't understand the low ratings for. Will scope this one out, cracking write up

bgillesp
May 14th 2019


6906 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really nice review. This is close with CoC for me but I love both. Both could grow on me at this point honestly but idk which would more

kevbogz
May 15th 2019


1184 Comments


i luv CoC



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