Hailing from Arizona, Spirit Adrift are still a very fresh prospect having formed in 2015. “Curse Of Conception” represents the band’s second full length release, showcasing a mix of influences that draw on many big names and will likely please a broad section of the heavy metal loving community.

“Earthbound” opens gently before a classic, meaty riff that harks back to the very early Judas Priest albums where that clean, raw and enthusiastic energy shines through. The mood and tone feels similar too; clean, powerful vocals add an air of melancholy as shades of vintage Metallica start to appear when a little more aggression comes into play. The album’s early songs say a lot about the band and their influences. They draw on the earlier sounds of those bands that have become the foundation for so much that has followed and have been championed by more recent established underground bands like Grand Magus. Again, early reflections from the great names appear; Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy shades in the guitar harmonies compliment some well composed riffs that are hooky, dramatic and big. Vocally, there are some soaring, melodic moments that are stylistically in keeping with Ozzy Osbourne’s own unique delivery on title track, “Curse Of Conception”. A slower, more blues oriented slant is taken on “Starless Age Enshrined” with its’ moody and brooding atmosphere. Smoky guitars and sorrowful vocals lead into a tempo shift mid way through that gets it revving along nicely. This is classic sounding stuff with muscular riffs and a galloping rhythm section accompanied by some stinging lead guitar.

The back end of the album moves into some crustier doom metal territory. “Spectral Saviour” is more ominous sounding with a gravelly, retro vibe found in European bands like Kadavar and Horisont. This mood is punctuated by the instrumental “Wakien”, an exotic and mysterious piece with Eastern tinges that lean on Led Zeppelin’s realm before some more tidy fretboard work and chunky riffage. A fitting finale arrives in the shape of “Onward Inward” which has a more reflective resonance that segues into an almost uplifting mid section and feels a suitable way to close the album.

“Curse Of Conception” is a solid outing. Whilst not a ground-breaking sound or style it draws well from its’ influences and packages them together nicely to deliver a solid set of songs that will definitely loosen up those neck muscles. This album is worth checking out while Spirit Adrift are a band to keep an eye on.

(7/10 Johnny Zed)