Arctic Sleep doesn’t make albums—it makes experiences. Take Kindred Spirits, the seventh full-length record from the local atmospheric metal outfit. It’s the followup to 2014’s Passage Of Gaia, and another sprawling, heavy, and majestic collection of songs that “dives further into explorations of universal themes…life & death, earth & space, beauty & sorrow.” It’s a record to lose yourself in, a record that demands to be experienced in full, a record that’s perfect for riding out the darkness before the dawn.
It’s also something of a solo record. Keith D is once again the mastermind behind Arctic Sleep (he’s joined here by drummer Nick Smalkowski), and it’s his experiences that give Kindred Spirits its chilly grandeur. According to press materials:
Finding himself once again as a solo artist, Arctic Sleep founder Keith D wrote all of the music for the album with his closest & dearest friend by his side…a snowshoe cat named Yoda. Right when the music for the album had been completed, Yoda fell gravely ill and passed away. Crushed, Keith set to work writing the lyrics in bereavement. The result is “Kindred Spirits,” a musical work intended to bring comfort and solace to anyone who has experienced loss, be it human or animal.
Heavy stuff, to be sure, but Kindred Spirits shoulders the weight beautifully. It’s a lot to dive into (we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface), but if you’re looking for a small taste, check out the video for opener “Meadows.” It’s a time-lapse video of the creation of the album cover, courtesy of illustrator Jennifer Weiler: