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Spiritbox's Mike Stringer offers up a series of mind-bending 7-string lines in new Secret Garden playthrough

Canadian metallers Spiritbox are one of 2021's breakthrough heavy bands, as their debut album continues to scale dizzying streaming heights.

Eternal Blue, released in September of this year, sees the band – husband and wife duo, guitarist Mike Stringer and vocalist Courtney LaPlante, bassist Bill Crook and drummer Zev Rosenberg – throw down a shedload of down-tuned electric guitar riffs and earth-crushing rhythmic arrangements, interspersed with delicate cleans and tastefully added synth lines, typified on standout tracks Holy Roller, Yellowjacket and Secret Garden.

The latter plays host to some of Stringer's best work on the LP, showcased it in this new playthrough, premiered exclusively at Guitar World.

In the clip, Stringer deploys a series of ultra-smooth, almost bass-like clean phrases and bend-heavy riffs using his custom Evertune-equipped Aristides 070 seven-string guitar, which runs through Neural DSP's Quad Cortex amp modeler.

Secret Garden is a really fun, but challenging song for me to play,” Stringer says. “The verses are a nod to our older material, utilizing a really dry clean guitar tone, similar to a bare DI, which is often mistaken for the bass. The main riff relies on heavy bending to get the feel of it just right, and it's a joy to play being all locked in with the Evertune bridge on my Aristides. 

“The ending walk down section is one of my favorite moments to play off of our new album, Eternal Blue. I’m a sucker for the sound of clean dotted 8th delay lines, and I try to throw them in as an added layer as much as possible. The contrast between the heavy riffs and the clean leads is a common theme on the album, and to me Secret Garden is a great mix of what you’ll find on Eternal Blue.”

  • Spiritbox's new album Eternal Blue is out now via Pale Chord Music.
Sam Roche

Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.