15 April, 2013

Spiritual Beggars: Earth Blues – new album


SPIRITUAL BEGGARS have just put forth their eight studio album, ‘Earth Blues’, today April 15th, 2013 on InsideOut Music. Described as their “finest hour yet, raw, heavy and honest record” by the band's founder guitarist Michael Amott, ‘Earth Blues’, recorded with recording engineer Roberth Ekholm at Fat Guitar Studios in Sweden, should be bought here (InsideOut Europe), here (InsideOut Noth America) or via Amazon. SPIRITUAL BEGGARS released three new tunes in promotion of the album, ‘Turn The Tide’, ‘Kingmaker’ and ‘Wise As A Serpent’; watch the last of the three in its video form below. Now, regarding the artwork:
“I had the idea for this artwork from my time as a child, seeing posters of two young lovers watching a romantic sunset on the beach - just your typical tacky bedroom art in the '70s, really... Also, growing up in what is now referred to with some nostalgia as the “Atomic Age” - the threat of nuclear war was always looming over our heads it seemed,” [explained Amott who is actually old enough to remember some of it] I wanted to combine these two images of my youth in one paradoxical image and Per Wiberg [also the group's keyboardist] really managed to capture the melancholic feeling perfectly. Earth blues, indeed”

Founded by CARCASS' and ARCH ENEMY's Michael Amott in 1993 as an outlet for his retro hard rock tendencies, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS debuted with a self-titled album in 1994, followed by ‘Another Way To Shine’ in 1996, their first of four albums issued on Music For Nations. Described by Jason Anderson, Allmusic, as “one of the best stoner coming-out parties of the '90s”, ‘Another Way To Shine’ ended up nominated for Grammisgalan (the Swedish Grammy Awards): “Music so accomplished paradoxically solicits the simplest of descriptions, so there’s no sense complicating descriptions of this stoner gem with obvious comparisons and inadequate adjectives,” he wrote, read the rest here. Alongside Amott, vocalist and bassist Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand and drummer Ludwig Witt, 1998's ‘Mantra III’ featured former OPETH keyboardist Per Wiberg:
“From ‘Homage To The Betrayed’ through ‘Broken Morning’, the tempo is nonstop, full-on, in-your-face heavy rock. The lyrics are as lunkheaded as one might expect - as on ‘Monster Astronauts’ (Take me to the river/Dance with the demons inside/Put me in the mist/Wait for the golden twist/Fly me to the moon 'cause we got enough fuel) - but it makes no difference. It’s cool enough that they sing in English and often mess up the syntax. … The tempos are throbbingly quick, but they hold within them a kind of funk that only white guys from Sweden would interpret as soulful. It comes off to the average Yankee grungoid rock fan or metalhead as a more complex kind of riffing, but no matter, it’s all a great ride, full of crunch, bombast, and the sound of meat tearing from the bone,” [wittingly observed Thom Jurek, Allmusic – more here]
Wilberg became an official SPIRITUAL BEGGAR on 2000's ‘Ad Astra’, which received many accolades from press, including from Allmusic's Jason Anderson who stated: “ ‘Ad Astra’ would bake like a sun dancer in the heat of stoner rock perfection.” 2002's ‘On Fire’ (which “saw the band reaching deeper into the epic 70's hard rock style of song writing”) was the group's last record on Music For Nations; it featured Janne “JB” Christoffersson (GRAND MAGUS) on vocals and new bassist Roger Nilsson. The group had spent much of 2003 touring, including a stint in Japan. Their next album was 2005's ‘Demons’ (SPV/InsideOut Music), after which they had taken a five-year break. SPIRITUAL BEGGARS returned with ‘Return To Zero’ in 2010 (InsideOut Music), featuring new vocalist Apollo Papathanasio (FIREWIND) and new bassist Sharlee D'Angelo (ARCH ENEMY).

SPIRITUAL BEGGARS features: Michael Amott – guitar, Apollo Papathanasio – vocals, Ludwig Witt – drums, Sharlee D’Angelo - bass and Per Wiberg – keyboard and vocals

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