REVIEW: SPIRITUAL BEGGARS – “Sunrise To Sundown”
The guys from Spiritual Beggars have been producing their own brand of vintage-style hard rock for over twenty years, in between working with their other respective bands. The group, a side project formed by band leader Michael Amott (Arch Enemy, ex-Carcass) in 1993, have endured the ever changing world of the music business since then, and 2016 will see the release of their ninth studio album ‘Sunrise To Sundown’, which has been described as the “next chapter of the book” and one they are clearly excited for. And with good reason!
Spiritual Beggars’ catalogue consists of a wide variety of both brooding stoner grunge and uplifting crowd anthems, but to say that their new album follows suit would not be completely true. While it fits comfortably within the bands previous works, it also strives to make a mature departure from it. While the previous album ‘Earth Blues’ felt heavily wrapped in an undertone of quick, grooving grunge, the sound and influences here feel much more varied. Perhaps this should come as little surprise when you consider that ‘Sunrise to Sundown’ was recorded when availability allowed for it.
To regularly return to an ongoing project, having come from working on others, new influences will always make themselves present. On this occasion, drummer Ludwig Witt (Grand Magus) also submitted two tracks, yet to be specified, but have been confirmed as his first contributions to the band as a writer. So for Grand Magus fans, this might be an album you should be curious about; the point here being that new influences can be found from both outside the band and in, and tracks such as “Hard Road”, “Still Hunter” and “You’ve Been Fooled” (to name but a few) highlight this new depth and richness.
In many respects ‘Sunrise To Sundown’ is a rare album. A record like this probably should not exist with the odds that face it, and yet here we are, lucky enough to have those odds defied. The love, patience and perseverance given to this album are evident within these songs. To find a band that have sustained themselves for over twenty years is painfully seldom, never mind a side project; and yet, here they are.
In the grand scheme of things, the likelihood is that you are not going to hear this album being played over bar jukeboxes for decades to come. However, ‘Sunrise To Sundown’ is fresh, familiar, spontaneous and dangerously vibrant! This is a perfect cap for nine albums past, and a labour of love for Spiritual Beggars.
‘Sunrise To Sundown’ will be released March 18th 2016 via InsideOutMusic.