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Spiritual Beggars: Sunrise To Sundown

Michael Amott’s stoner rockers gives the blues its dues

With nearly 25 years of Spiritual Beggars under his belt, Michael Amott has never let his Arch Enemy schedule get in the way of their solid contribution to 70s-inspired rock.

Sunrise… is the band’s third album with ex-Firewind man Apollo Papathanasio on vocals and once again his gravelly, soulful spirit is offered up to bluesy, stoner-type rock and a good dose of riff-driven psychedelic hooks. If you’re hoping for 45 minutes of Michael Amott shredding like a boss, however, you might be disappointed, though.

He has some brilliant moments; the title track pops out a cheeky solo straight out of the Carcass/Arch Enemy playbook and Diamond Under Pressure is an air guitarist’s dream. The second half of the album gets darker. I Turn To Stone is a tribal trip down Deep Purple’s Child In Time, Lonely Freedom is an effects-laden, smouldering epic and Southern Star plods along before exploding in a hefty solo.

If they were once Monster Magnet, Spiritual Beggars are now Deep Purple… and if you’re OK with that, it’s fine.