Spiritual Beggars
Sunrise to Sundown


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
March 24th, 2016 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Spiritual Beggars still going strong albeit more melodic.

It feels like yesterday when 20 years ago, Spiritual Beggars were the next best thing in heavy rock along with Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Cathedral. In an era where rock was practically dead, with declining sales and limited interest from young audiences, those four bands provided hope and inspiration. For a kid who was jamming Deep Purple and Black Sabbath 24/7, these guys were received as saviors and in a bizarre way, pioneers; bear in mind, that most acts back then aspired to be the next Paradise Lost, Sepultura or Dream Theater rather than Motorhead or Thin Lizzy. Fast forward two decades and revival bands pop up like thirsty snails after the rain. However, clutter, or its lack thereof, was one of the reasons that the aforementioned acts enjoyed success early in their careers and lasted for so long.

It would be a lie to suggest that Spiritual Beggars have remained the same throughout their careers; changes in personnel and style have impacted the music they play. For those who have checked the band’s previous effort, Sunrise to Sundown will probably feel like a natural evolution. In regards to their older material, Amott and Co. seem to be heading towards a sound that is less influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Hawkwind and Jimi Hendrix and based more in post-In Rock Deep Purple. The result is an LP that is focused more on melody rather than groove; it’s less gritty and more polished. This is not to say that Spiritual Beggars have followed a more commercial approach because, either way, the outcome reeks of character. For example, “Diamond Under Pressure” might sound like a cross between Deep Purple’s “Might Just Take Your Life” (verses) and “Woman from Tokyo” (chorus), but still has Amott’s characteristic guitar playing.

What makes Sunrise to Sundown such a fun listen though, is its variety. On one hand, “What Doesn’t Kill You” features a guitar riff that reminds Sacrifice-era Motorhead and on the other, on “I Turn to Stone” the band goes into a psychedelic a la Cream mode with drumming that brings to mind Ginger Baker. What’s more, Per Wiberg’s performance on Hammond organ gives the album the necessary hippy touches while Apollo Papathanasio sounds like he has fully settled to the band; the vocalist’s tone and style is very reminiscent of David Coverdale and fits the music perfectly. There are also a couple of surprises, such as the proggy passage in the middle of “No Man’s Land” that brings to mind The Beatles or the Lynyrd Skynyrd-esque “Southern Star” that also includes piano. Of course, there are nods to the Beggars’ past such as “Dark Light Child” and album standout “Lonely Freedom” with the fuzzy guitar and its dreamlike nature that is similar to Kyuss.

Despite all the positives, Sunrise to Sundown could do with a few more well-thought guitar solos. In the past, where the music was more riff-based, solos could have taken a backseat but in this melodic approach, a couple of flashier moments would have improved the final outcome. In addition, those who prefer the band’s sound on albums like Another Way to Shine or Mantra III might have trouble digesting the change in style.

However, as a whole the Beggars’ latest effort sounds fresh and vibrant regardless of its retro nature. Recorded with the whole band in the studio, in 5 days, this LP along with Earth Blues, are more of a collaborative effort compared to older material and that shows. And combined with the incredible cover art, it’s bound to be enjoyed by heavy rock enthusiasts.



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user ratings (40)
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
ChaoticVortex (4)
Transitioning between mellow and heavy, as well as the 70’s and our times, Sunrise to Sundown is a...



Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2016


12506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A bit of a rant but great stuff.



Full stream: https://play.spotify.com/album/2AdsOQ4KNkEFgiAjFZ4GD0

Digging: The Snakes - Live in Europe

deslad
March 24th 2016


645 Comments


Awesome review man; I didn't think it was that long a review tbh. Generally, Spiritual Beggars is not so much to my liking, but from what you described, this album could be an exception.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2016


12506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks des! Maybe their work with Apollo Papathanasio is closer to your taste as it's less sludgy than their earlier stuff.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2016


9694 Comments


I was 100% sure you would review this album Manos.

Gonna read later in the night.


Edit:

Good review, mindpos.

one tiny correction:


20 ago

20 years ago

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2016


12506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha yeah!



Count me in for the new Diamond Head as well.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2016


9694 Comments


^^Is that album any good?

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2016


12506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm surprised by how good it is, really; high quality NWOBHM the Diamond Head way. But I need to make sure that it isn't my enthusiasm speaking so I keep jamming it daily.

EvoHavok
March 24th 2016


8006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, this is out? Great!

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2016


12506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yup, a week ago. Sweet jam too.

EvoHavok
March 24th 2016


8006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hah, way to have it off the radar for a while. I'll jam soon. Nice review, too.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2016


12506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Evo.

ksoflas
March 24th 2016


1348 Comments


Great review, must check it asap.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2016


12506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers Nick. I know you like Earth Blues so you'll probably enjoy this one too.

ChaoticVortex
March 24th 2016


1334 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great read manosg. My take on this album is pretty much the same as yours. Funny thing is, I actually started to write a review for this, but I see you got ahead of me.

Fun and enjoyable record, What Doesn't Kill You and Lonley Freedom are big favorites.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2016


12506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lonely Freedom is my favorite on here too. Apart from being a great song, it's a nice change of style from the rest of the album.



Thanks for the correction, Voivod.

BigHans
March 25th 2016


30959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jammed title track, rules hard. How have I never jammed this band? This is my alley here.

Antonius
March 25th 2016


379 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Nice review manos!

R6Rider
March 25th 2016


5272 Comments


Hans you should definitely check out Ad Astra.

BigHans
March 25th 2016


30959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just listened to Angel of Betrayal from that album and it riffed my face.

R6Rider
March 25th 2016


5272 Comments


That was my fave song from that album for a long time.



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