Spiritual Beggars
Earth Blues



by stagemaster USER (6 Reviews)
December 9th, 2015 | 10 replies

Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Flows like a serpent, bites like a wolf

The resurgence of 70’s hard rock and metal is pretty evident in recent times by quite a few bands, though be it under the guise of labels such as ''stoner rock’’ and ''doom metal’’. Spiritual Beggars is such a kind of band, formed in Sweden in 1993 (!) and Earth Blues is their 8th studio album. What? They’ve been around for 22 years and you never heard of them? Well, get ready because this album is going to rock your socks off!

Formed by Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, Carcass), the band’s sound is focused around 70's hard rock with a touch of psychedelia and classic heavy metal riffs. Taken from their webpage’s PR: ''gathering the best of the classic rock, melodic stoner/doom metal and 70's hard rock genres, but also stressing the untamed joy and positive energy present throughout the creation of this album’’. This album’s line-up (they’ve changed a bit in their 22-year career) is quite astonishing with names such as Per Wilberg (Opeth) on keyboards, Sharlee D’Angelo (Mercyful Fate, Arch Enemy) on bass and Apollo Papathanasio (Firewind). But this isn’t another supergroup who got excited at some concert backstage and decided to write an album and continue to play the style they’re accustomed to. This band seems to have come together from a mutual desire to lay down some hard old-school grooves and Earth Blues is one of the best they’ve come up with yet.

Will you hear sounds similar to Black Sabbath, Budgie, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and even some vocal spins similar to Dio's Rainbow era? Oh yes you will. But they don’t just copy and paste these sounds; they put their own touch and modern spin to them. The opener ''Wise as a serpent’’ is reminiscent of Deep Purple’s Machinehead era as is ''Turn the tide’’ with its drum patterns. ''Sweet magic pain’’ has a Sabbathesque intro riff and continues with some excellent guitar work from Amott. ''Hello sorrow’’ is another very cool rocker with some amazing keyboard work whilst ''Dreamer’’ comes to remind the listener once again about the big influence of Deep Purple on the band – it could very well be the follow-up of ''Sweet child in time’’ in anyone’s playlist. Also worth mentioning are ''Too old to die young’’ for its grooveness, reminding a bit of Budgie and the break in tempo mid-song, and ''Kingmaker’’ for its tribute to Jon Lord (Per Wilberg does an excellent job on this one) and Apollo’s vocals which are reminiscent of the style of the great Dio. A personal favourite is ''Dead end town’’ because of its beautiful solo and also because, as the lyrics say, `…winter is coming’ – isn’t it Jon Snow? (see what I did there?)

All in all this is an awesome piece of work from Spiritual Beggars. Great guitar with beautiful and musical solos, not just ups and downs in the blues scales, and some amazing keyboard/organ work. Apollo’s voice does not disappoint, not even for a moment, and the percussions are spot on – simple and energetic with a loose natural swing that gives songs a more rock`n`roll feeling instead of a metal one. Give it a couple of spins and if you were not a fan of Spiritual Beggars already, you will find a good reason to become one!

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user ratings (52)
other reviews of this album
ChaoticVortex (4.5)
The equivalent of musical time travel, the Swedish stoner group’s eighth record feels like a lost ...

Comments:Add a Comment 
December 9th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

Good that this got a review. It's a nice insight until the user ChaoticVortex arrives here with his own write-up. Try to fix those quotation marks, though.

Digging: Ningen-Isu - Ijigen Kara no Hoko

Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Excellent album, good review, pos.

Digging: Urarv - Aurum

December 9th 2015


Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys, this album rocks hard I had to write a review - hopefully will review a couple more before Christmas

December 9th 2015


Album Rating: 4.5

Fantastic record that was long overdue of a proper review. Pos'd.

December 9th 2015


Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers ChaoticVortex, was just now reading your review on ''Ad Astra'' - another great album from these guys, albeit quite different from this one

December 9th 2015


Pos'd, good review.
Album rocks!

December 10th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

at last, this got a review! Nice one mike. Pos'd

December 10th 2015


Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Good review, I feel this is SB's best album yet. I was kinda disappointed by Apollo's vocals on his first album with the band, Return to Zero, but with this one he seems to have captured the throaty roar reminiscent of previous singers BJ and Spice that is needed for this kind of music. Everything this band does sounds authentic and if they were around in 1973 they'd be as big as Deep Purple.

December 10th 2015


This sounds pretty funky. Nice review as well.

December 11th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i totally agree with your point there beard. I didnt like much Return to Zero either. I find this record much better

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