[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 7.5
Label: InsideOut Music
Website: Link
Author: Kostas Tsotsanis[/colored_box]

Spiritual Beggars was always one of my favorite supergroups of all time. Its line-up, was always something very interesting, consisting of members from great metal groups like Arch Enemy, Grand Magus, Opeth and now Firewind (ex-members to be honest).

Nevertheless, their last albums weren’t as strong as their first ones, due to the departure of their first singer and bassist, Spice. Since then, JB (Grand Magus singer), came in to perform for Spiritual Beggars, leaving the band in 2010. Then, Apollo Papathanasio became the front man of the band, singing in one of the worst albums created by this band; “Return to Zero“. In April, Spiritual Beggars released their eighth full length album under the title “Earth Blues“.

Overall, “Earth Blues” is a fine album, definitely better than “Return to Zero”. The band does not remind of their stoner-rock years any more, strongly aiming to sound like a heavy rock or a hard rock band. Their sound tries to touch the 70’s vibe, keeping a modern and ‘crystal-clear’ sound as well as production. The band uses some of their catchiest riffs, but unfortunately not some of their best or innovative ones. However, another positive fact is that they kind of remind ‘Deep Purple’ combined with the southern-rock touches of Lynyrd Skynyrd. They do not copy them, but they surely catch their sound’s aura.

As a result, we have songs like “Dreamer“, which could be a baby brother of “Child in Time”, as well as “Freedom Song“, with strong elements of southern music. The guitar solos are very beautiful, such as the overall guitar work. ‘Dead End Town’ and ‘Wise as a Serpent’ should be very rocking once on stage, and they are actually like ‘hits’ of the album. The song “Turn the Tide” looks alike Black Sabbath’s “Supernaut”, something that I didn’t quite fancy to be honest. “Hello Sorrow” with Iron Maiden’s ‘The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner’.

Apollo is very essential in this album. He got into the band’s philosophy far more than in the previous release, singing strong parts of vocals with a nice old-school rock’n’roll voice. Like I said before, Spiritual Beggars try to approach a different kind of rock, rather than Stoner. Apollo is the right one for accomplishing it, as he brings a different sound to the band, making everything looking harsher and heavier. Per Wiberg did an awesome work too, on the keyboards, fitting in a vintage approach to heavy rock.

Feel free to explore “Earth Blues” for a long period of time. After a while, you will feel like the album is a classic one from the past. The modern sound is a big negative, but the songs are fine and well-prepared. The deluxe version of “Earth Blues” comes with a second disc, with the band performing live some of their past songs back in 2010.

Track List Line Up
01. Wise As A Serpent
02. Turn The Tide
03. Sweet Magic Pain
04. Hello Sorrow
05. One Man’s Curse
06. Dreamer
07. Too Old To Die Young
08. Kingmaker
09. Road To Madness
10. Dead End Town
11. Freedom Song
12. Legends Collapse
Michael Amott- Guitars
Ludwig Witt- Drums
Per Wiberg- Keyboards
Sharlee Di’Angelo- Bass
Apollo Papathanasio- Vocals