May 22

Spiritual Beggars – Earth Blues (2013)


Many of you know Michael Amott from legendary bands Carcass and Arch Enemy. However, what many of you may not know is that around the time he founded Arch Enemy, he founded a very different project called Spiritual Beggars. Moreover, this project has been active ever since. Earth Blues, their eighth album, displays its influence right on the album title. So how does this fare? Is it a failure and should Amott stick with what we know him by? No. Not at all.

So the first thing that wows me here is how many absolutely sublime riffs are in this record. I’m absolutely floored by how much I enjoy Amott’s guitar playing. Everything about it is spot on – the riffs, the tone, the placement, everything. However, this project wouldn’t be as good without the rest of the team playing their part. Former Opeth keyboardist Per Wiberg is on this album and whether he’s playing in the background or is pushed to the forefront (Sweet Magic Pain) he does incredibly well, although this is to be expected. Vocalist Apollo Papathanasio (ex-Firewind) shows his prowess here in a very different light as well, going in a bit more aggressive tone than his time in Firewind and it shows. The rhythm section keeps everything together and keeps all of these talented people from going too far away in weird directions. Also, I’d like to know how many pretty metal flourishes are on here. For example, on One Man’s Curse, Amott plays this one riff that repeats through the first stanza that’s pretty metal.

Even on an album with many great songs, some stand out. ‘Turn the Tide‘ I think is my favorite song off the entire record, and really the best song out of any of these old-school songs that have come out as of recent. Just everything about it is so…sublime. Their willingness to just jam out fucking rules. I really have no bad things to say about this record at all.

Overall, this is old school rock and roll done right: an incredible amount of fresh ideas to turn something that can be seen as stale to something totally new yet familiar at the same time. If you just wanna jam out, this record is absolutely for you and I am ashamed of you for not listening to it yet. Go get this record. I can safely say this is my surprise record of 2013.


1. Wise as a Serpent
2. Turn the Tide
3. Sweet Magic Pain
4. Hello Sorrow
5. One Man’s Curse
6. Dreamer
7. Too Old to Die Young
8. Kingmaker
9. Road to Madness
10. Dead End Town
11. Freedom Song
12. Legends Collapse

Genre: Hard Rock/Metal

Record Label: InsideOut Music

Playing Time: 50 Minutes


Michael Amott – Guitar
Per Wiberg – Keyboards/Vocals
Apollo Papathanasio – Vocals
Ludwig Witt – Drums
Sharlee D’Angelo – Bass


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