Editors’ Notes With their fourth album, metal duo Spirit Adrift wanted to create a sharp contrast to the doom and gloom of their first three. As such, Enlightened in Eternity is an upbeat and triumphant record that recalls the chalice-hoisting classics of a bygone era. “I've put enough energy into making really emotionally devastating and painful music,” guitarist, vocalist, and founder Nate Garrett tells Apple Music. “That's been pretty much everything Spirit Adrift has done up to this point. So I wanted to make something that was a little more empowering and uplifting. It still deals with death and pain and suffering and trauma and all of this stuff I've always been trying to unpack and analyze, but I feel like it focuses more on the solutions rather than just the problems.” Below, Garrett shows us the path to heavy metal enlightenment.

Ride Into the Light
“I didn't even know that I was working on a new album—I just picked up the guitar and started playing some of those riffs. But then I kind of realized that it was taking on a shape of what sounded to me like an epic, classic type of opening track to a heavy metal album. So it became this completely unapologetic, badass heavy metal song. I tried to make it really aggressive and intense, kind of in the tradition of the classic, epic album openers like [Judas Priest’s] ‘Electric Eye’ and songs like that.”

Astral Levitation
“When I started playing around with this, it was pretty obvious to me that I was drawing from the Iommi School of Riffs, but every era of Tony Iommi. It's taken me a little bit of maturity and more open-mindedness to appreciate the later stuff, like the Tony Martin era of Black Sabbath, so I wanted to represent the entire history of that school of thought. When I was trying to come up with fitting lyrical content, I thought about a story in his autobiography where he explains without a hint of irony that he has the ability to astral project. To me, it seems to explain a little bit how he is able to just keep cranking out these archetypical, powerful songs for so long. So I took that concept and applied it in a more general sense. The song ended up being about how to achieve and maximize your full potential as a human being.”

Cosmic Conquest
“I was getting tattooed, and I heard a certain drumbeat in the tattoo shop and I realized it was that straightforward, faster rock drum beat that we hadn't utilized yet. I don't even remember what song I was listening to, but I wanted to incorporate that. I was also listening to a lot of Rick Rubin-produced metal albums at the time, like Danzig and Slayer and Trouble. Then I tried to turn my mind into Rick Rubin's mind and produce a Spirit Adrift song. That's ‘Cosmic Conquest.’ Lyrically, I like to talk about science fiction and religion and spirituality and where they all intersect. I feel like it's a good literary tool to chip away at some deeper questions. I'm definitely doing that on that song.”

Screaming From Beyond
“Track four on our last few albums has been important—we’ve been doing the track-four ballad thing that so many bands have done over the years. But I got really tired of tripping over my foot switch all the time to change from dirty guitar to clean guitar, so I decided I wasn't going to do a ballad on this album. That's why there's no clean guitar anywhere this time. But I still wanted to make track four special, so I decided to write what I felt like would be our radio hit in the vein of bands I grew up with, like Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, and AC/DC. And then I put a sludge ending on it, like a nod to New Orleans to not make it too much of a hit, you know? Lyrically, it’s a ghost story, but the real issue I’m trying to address is grief and death and what it means when a loved one dies and how that haunts people.”

Harmony of the Spheres
“I like to do things that are heavier and faster than anything we've done before, and I like to do things that are slower and more melodic and more psychedelic than we've ever done before. Obviously, this one is more towards the aggressive end of the spectrum. The lyrical content was inspired by a book I was reading about John Dee, who was into chaos magic and influenced [Aleister] Crowley. So that sort of mystical creepiness kind of ties it back to our last album.”

Battle High
“On this song, again, I was trying to put myself in Rick Rubin's shoes and also returning to the Tony Iommi School of Riffs. But probably it’s more from the perspective of the Matt Pike School of Even Chunkier Riffs. I was listening to a podcast and I heard someone use the phrase ‘battle joy’ to describe someone that is completely euphoric and at peace only when they are in the heat of absolute chaos and physical violence. I started thinking about that concept and I thought ‘battle high’ sounded cooler, like somebody literally getting a high off of violence and war. But the song is more about how the military programs people to get to a place emotionally and psychologically where can they turn off their conscience and experience that battle high. But then, when they come back from war, there’s nothing to deprogram them and turn them back into human beings. So it ended up being an anti-war song, which I think is an important statement to be making.”

Stronger Than Your Pain
“Much like ‘Harmony of the Spheres,’ I wanted to write a song that was pushing the limits of what's expected from us in terms of aggression and heaviness and tempo. As for the lyrics, I was reading this book—The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. At first, I didn't think that sort of self-empowerment type of stuff was necessarily the most metal subject matter, but then I started thinking about all of my favorite metal albums—Vulgar Display of Power, Powerslave, Screaming for Vengeance, Heaven and Hell—they all kind of have this underdog mentality that it's us against the world. So I realized that self-empowerment is metal as fuck.”

Reunited in the Void
“This started off almost as an inside joke to myself, because I get such a kick out of people trying to force labels on us. First they said we're a doom band, which at the time was probably accurate. Then they said we're not a doom band. Some people still call us ‘stoner doom,’ which I completely don't understand. So I figured it would be funny to make a whole album of these pretty concise, aggressive, upbeat metal songs, and then hit them with a song that's ten and a half minutes long. It's super slow and downtrodden and melodic. Lyrically, it’s about the hope for the possibility of some sort of reconnection with everything that you love after death. Both of our dogs died around this time, so we put their collars on the last half of this song as alternate percussion. If you listen close enough, you can hear it.”

1
4:42
 
2
6:12
 
3
5:32
 
4
6:21
 
5
4:05
 
6
4:03
 
7
4:02
 
8
10:48
 

More by Spirit Adrift

Featured On