Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spiritual Beggars - Earth Blues (2013)
As much as Sabbath/Purple/Zeppelin imitation is a tired cliche in the stoner rock world, this is one album that you can't help but enjoy no matter who it sounds like. The riffs are simply outstanding. All the songs are foot-tappingly catchy and oftentimes headbangable. Michael Amott, both here and in his previous band Arch Enemy, is an absolute riff-machine who delivers the goods on this very straightforward, no-nonsense rock n' roll album. The singer (too lazy to look up his name, previously from power metal band Firewind) does a great job as well sounding much like a cross between Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes. As a little twist, there are some fantastic keyboard solos and acoustic sections that give a distinct prog twinge to the songs they feature on. Another strength of the album is the superb bluesy solos that sometimes even rival those of the master Ritchie Blackmore himself. In all, "Earth Blues" may very well be my pick for stoner record of the year, and it's my sincere hope that this won't be as underrated/unknown as Spiritual Beggars' past albums.

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