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'Sunrise To Sundown'
(Inside Out Records)
Release Date: 18th March 2016

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland

spiritual beggars

Swedish guitarist Michael Arnott is best known for his work with Carcass and more recently out and Metallers Arch Enemy so it might surprise some people that Stoner Metal band Spiritual Beggars is a long term pet project of his.

'Sunrise To Sundown' is their ninth studio release and the third with Greek singer Apollo Papathanasio on board. More recent albums have leaned away from the stoner tag to a more classic rock sound and that transition continues here.

Deep Purple is an obvious reference point with the Hammond organ sound the band are using and for me 'Diamond Under Pressure' is a bit too close in style to Purple's own 'Might Just Take Your Life' for comfort. Elsewhere though that influence is distilled more subtly into the band's overall sound to make an album that's mostly seventies style rock with some modern twists.

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The opening title track has a fine Cult-style riff welded to a song with a fine sub-seventies stoner groove and 'Still Hunter' has a similar vibe with drummer Ludwig Witt enjoying the chance to really power things along.

In fact for what ostensibly gets tagged as Stoner Metal this is a pretty high energy album and all the better for it.

spiritual beggars

'Dark Light Child' is a mid-tempo rocker which sees some interesting use of atmospherics and a dynamic vocal performance from Papathanasio while 'Hard Road' has a riff that will stick in your head and a chugging insistent presence.

'Southern Star' has a vaguely Bad Company feel to it but the chorus isn't strong enough to carry it through its eight minutes plus length and shows up a tendency on occasion for the style of the band to overshadow the substance in the songs.

All things considered this is a pretty good album and one that anyone who likes modern music that looks back fondly on classic rock's finest years should enjoy. Anyone expecting Arch Enemy style riffage is in for a surprise though...

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