Spiritual Beggars - "Ad Astra" CD Review (Music for Nations) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Spiritual Beggars - "Ad Astra" CD Review (Music for Nations)

Spiritual Beggars - 'Ad Astra' Cd Review (Music for Nations)As part of an extensive reissue campaign, The End Records is bringing back into print UK metal label Music for Nations’ back catalogue. One of the many gems in the catalogue is the Spiritual Beggars albums with original vocalist Christian "Spice" Sjöstrand. For anyone not familiar with Spiritual Beggars, the band is led by former Carcass / Arch Enemy guitarist Michael Arnott and they play groove-oriented stoner rock that bares more than a passing resemblance to bands like Soundgarden and Corrosion of Conformity.

Ad Astra was the band’s fourth disc (originally released in 2000) and it brought the band significant recognition overseas as they played some high profile European festivals and toured with bands like Iron Maiden, Queens of the Stone Age and Monster Magnet. The disc starts strong with the bluesy, hard rock track “Left Brain Ambassadors” and this song should have cracked American radio wide open. While Spiritual Beggars didn’t break out in America, they did catch the ear of Greg Anderson at Southern Lord who released the song “It’s Over”, which was only on the Japanese pressing of Ad Astra, as part of the label’s 7” of Doom series.

Aside for the slow-burning intro to the disc’s final track, “Mantra“, the music on this disc is consistent throughout. The band build up a full “wall of sound” over which they add clean guitar solos (check out the solo on “Sedated”), chugging riffs and psychedelic keys over a big bottom-end that borders on grunge at times and Christian "Spice" Sjöstrand sings with a gruff voice that is part “Ben Ward” and one “Jim Morrison / Ian Astbury”. While there is a sonic similarity running between the songs, songs like “Left Brain Ambassadors”, “Save Your Soul”, “Angel of Betrayal” and “Wonderful World” should have been break-out FM-Radio hits.

Spiritual Beggars have just announced that they are "busy in the studio...writing new riffs and coming up with new songs"

Spiritual Beggars