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The news that a new Spiritual Beggars album was imminent was nice indeed, as well as somewhat of a surprise considering the busy schedule of Arch Enemy men Michael Amott (guitar) and Sharlee D´Angelo (bass). This Swedish quintet wouldn't release new material before it is of quality, and it does not take long into the catchy opening title track before one realizes that this will be an enjoyable experience.
Following the groovy Diamond Under Pressure we get two more hook-filled tunes in What Doesn't Kill You, also featuring some cool Sabbath riffage, and the heavy metal-tinged Hard Road. There are a number of more direct, seriously rocking songs on Sunrise To Sundown, but at the same time it offers much variety. Examples of this are the mellow, reflective part in No Man's Land and some psychedelic moods in I Turn To Stone.
According to the biography, the album was recorded live by the five members together, and the result is a production that is warm, vibrant, powerful and simply terrific. The renowned skill of these musicians is of course a main factor too. Amott accompanies sharp riffs with delicious melodies, everything with his unmistakable tone and sound, and the recruitment of Apollo Papathanasio in 2010 once again proves a masterstroke, with the ex-Firewind frontman´s fabulous vocals fitting perfect to this 70´s hard rock sound.
Per Wiberg supplies keyboard expertise and his Hammond organ is as usual a wonderful component, colouring the sound and bringing Deep Purple and other giants to mind. The rhythm section with D´ Angelo and drummer Ludwig Witt, then, are as solid as can be and ensures great groove and swing.
Sunrise To Sundown is an excellent follow-up to the likewise excellent Earth Blues, and the feeling is that it is a notch better even, thanks to slightly more memorable material overall. What is perfectly clear, though, is that with all the 70´s rock revival in recent years, the experienced cats in Spiritual Beggars once again show their younger peers how it is done, with loads of skill, quality and authenticity. Make sure to catch the band on a rare tour soon, where the new tunes will be brilliant to enjoy as well.