Best of 2016: Nate Garrett of Spirit Adrift

Spirt Adrift was created by Nate Garrett out of necessity. Garrett cut his teeth in the south, in a humid melting pot of doom, sludge, psychedelic rock and hardcore punk. He played, recorded and toured with as many bands as possible, always following the sonic path carved by the masters. Bands like Black Sabbath, Neurosis and EYEHATEGOD were the guides during his most formative years. More specifically, Garrett was deeply influenced by the artistic and personal relationships he shared with fellow Arkansans such as Deadbird, Rwake, Seahag and Pallbearer. His experience in the climate of southern heavy music left an impression that will last a lifetime. Garrett moved to Arizona in 2011, joining Take Over And Destroy and later Gatecreeper. Things were going well, but some ghosts had stuck with him.
Early 2015 saw dire circumstances coming to a head in Nate’s life. An overhaul became crucial. This process resulted in profound psychic changes, unfamiliar headspace and a sudden outpouring of creative energy. Spirit Adrift was inherent in this metamorphosis, as both a catalyst and a product. Realizing early on in the demoing process just how personal this material had become, Nate understood he had to handle all songwriting and performing duties himself.
The Behind-Beyond EP came out in early 2016. Before the EP was even released, Garrett had written an album’s worth of material. Produced by AZ’s Bob Hoag at Flying Blanket studios, Chained To Oblivion, which dropped August 12 on Prosthetic Records, shows the continuing evolution and growth of Garrett as both a songwriter and person.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Garrett to discuss his other favorite albums of the year. This is what he told us.

  1. Vektor – Terminal Redux

One of my favorite pieces of music I’ve ever heard. As far as thrash goes, I place this alongside classics like Master of Puppets and The New Order. The songwriting is genius and the performances are mindblowing. Next-level stuff.

  1. Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows

This is their best work by far, and that’s saying a lot.

  1. Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth

Sturgill took some huge risks with this album and they paid off. I love it when artists are uninhibited by expectations or genre classifications. He made this record for himself and his family, nobody else, and that earnestness comes across.

  1. Sumerlands – Sumerlands

Everything awesome about unapologetic classic metal and hard rock, with a focus on memorable songwriting. Everyone’s performance is tasteful and free of filler.

  1. Khemmis – Hunted

These guys rule, and they really came into their own here. “Beyond The Door” showcases one of the sickest ride cymbal “ding ding” sections of the year.

  1. Youth Code – Commitment to Complication

I’ve been getting deep into synth music this year, and nothing tops this. Powerfully layered, emotional, and as aggressive as any metal album in recent memory.

  1. John Carpenter – Lost Themes II

I dig this one even more than his first record, and seeing him perform live was one of the highlights of my year, and frankly my life.

  1. Devotion – Headspace Astronaut

This could be a direct successor to the first Down album. Throw in the best elements of Pacific Northwest grunge and you have a recipe for a bad ass riff journey that’s straight from the gut.

  1. Nothing – Tired Of Tomorrow

I didn’t think they could top Guilty of Everything, but they did. Any semblance of aggression or punk attitude has been eschewed and we’re left with pure beauty, which serves the band and the listeners well.

  1. Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us

As pissed off as it gets. Streamlined rage. Also features the sickest stereo-tracked dual whammy bar lead of all time.
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