Album Reviews

Spiritual Beggars – Return To Zero

Released by Inside/Out Music

Released On: August 30th, 2010

Genre: Metal/Stoner Rock




Michael Amott – Guitars, Mandolin, Guitar Effects

Ludwig Witt – Drums, Percussion

Per Wiberg – Keys

Sharlee D’Angelo – Bass

Apollo Papathanasio – Vocals


1. Return To Zero [Intro] (0:51)

2. Lost In Yesterday (4:52)

3. Star Born (3:07)

4. The Chaos Of Rebirth (5:21)

5. We Are Free (3:25)

6. Spirit Of The Wind (5:52)

7. Coming Home (3:24)

8. Concrete Horizon (6:02)

9. A New Dawn Rising (4:44)

10. Believe In Me (6:43)

11. Dead Weight (4:50)

12. The Road Less Travelled (3:44)

13. Time To Live (4:15) *

* Bonus Track of first pressing Digipak edition!

I seem to have recalled that it had been a long while since I had heard any new material from Sweden’s Spiritual Beggars. The main reason is probably because founder and main front man guitarist Michael Amott, also co founder of Arch Enemy had been so busy with his previous band and the extensive 2 year touring machine that did not leave enough time to write new material for Beggars. The true reality is the length between albums, it’s taken a good 5 years since they last released “Demons” which was very well received.

Challenges weren’t only finding the breathing ground to record new sessions but also to search for a new vocalist to replace the talented JB who left the band to focus on his other project Grand Magus. Luckily enough for the band they found Apollo Papathanasio, who is the talented vocalist for the Greek power metal band Firewind. I took notice when the new record “Return To Zero” came out because these guys truly digest and produce some classic influences. You’ll notice the classic rock from the 70’s sound, mixed with a little stoner metal and modern heavy metal riffs to create an chemical balance that fluctuates like an atmospheric autumn day.

Amott was quoted as saying this is the band’s heaviest album to date and on the opening track “Lost In Yesterday” he would be spot on, with a crunchy groove that dominates is hard rock  southern rock influence core. Take note on “The Chaos of Rebirth” as the heavy dose of riffest gives way to a striking solo with yet again a heavier and speedier sound here, maybe fitting the voice of Apollo better. I love “We Are Free” the rock out with your [email protected]#$ out attitude and it’s freedom rock message works very well here, pretty catchy too. The straight ahead plow stout sound of “A New Dawn Rising” has a more modern metal sound with some heavy and classic keys influences drawn forward to the table to make for another interesting listen. A nice touch is shown on the last track as a soft ballad “The Road Less Traveled” hits a melancholy peak with a laid back groove reminiscent of some David Bowie material.

Blending classic rock with nitty gritty sounds of heavier rock can often sound redundant and spacious, but Amott and Spiritual Beggars deliver a nice formula which doesn’t stray too far from their previous works albeit harder sounding but nevertheless creatively influential. The voice of  Papathanasio matches the contrite sound that the band porraits especially in the heavier hard rock tunes. The sound has to be heard to be appreciate it, is a knock back to bands like Deep Purple with vintage keyboards and experimented with modern metal and the stoner rock influence from previous works. Fans of the band won’t be dissapointed aslong as we don’t have to wait another five for the next record.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   7/10

Spiritual Beggars – Salt In Your Wounds from “DEMONS”

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