Spiritual Beggars Spiritual Beggars

This 1994 eponymous debut by Swedish stoner metal stars Spiritual Beggars immediately made headlines as the first post-Carcass, pre-Arch Enemy band of guitarist Michael Amott, but due to limited distribution on Wrong Again Records (which evolved into Regain), this album didn’t make the waves it should have. Now re-released with four bonus tracks (the same extras from the original Japanese import) and new artwork, Spiritual Beggars returns to leave its mark on metal. "Yearly Dying,” "Pelekas” and "The Space Inbetween” sport a Kyuss heft, thanks to the gravelly, John Garcia-derived vocals of bassist Spice (aka Christian Sjöstrand, who later left the group to concentrate on the Mushroom River Band). Both "If This Is All” and "Under Silence” have a Hermano-influenced swagger, while "Magnificent Obsession” breaks it down like a slower Ten Minute Warning. Three of the four bonus tracks were re-recorded for the band’s 1996 sophomore effort, Another Way to Shine, and they sound a bit looser than the rest, especially "Sour Stains” (misspelled on the CD as "Sour Saints”), in which Amott stretches out in his solos. Spiritual Beggars should be a definite purchase for those curious about Amott’s stoner evolution. (Regain)