Spiritual Beggars: Sunrise To Sundown

Michael Amott’s stoner rockers gives the blues its dues

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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.