Spiritual Beggars
Return to Zero
Style: Hard rock/heavy metal
Release date: August 27th 2010

As much as I'd like Michael Amott to focus on Carcass and finally get on with it and write some new music with Jeff Walker and Bill Steer, I can easily see how Spiritual Beggars along with Arch Enemy also deserve some space in the busy Swede's schedule.

For 'Return to Zero' is a great album. Less stoner and decidedly more seventies rock inspired than it's predecessors, this seventh outing from the Beggars pays tribute to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Rainbow in a big way.

Firewind vocalist Apollo Papathanasio is a big part of the explanation for this; he sounds more 1977 than 2010, and he does that convincingly. The sound of Hammond organs of course also emphasize the seventies feeling of the album, as do the great rock riffs that are thrown at you in one long succession by Michael Amott. Along with The Devil's Blood, this is probably the best modern-day capturing of the sound and feel of the seventies - and it goes without saying that it doesn't sound dated in any way!

The production and mix of 'Return to Zero' is impeccable and leaves space for all instruments - it sounds, well, genuine rather than a tapestry of powertool layers - it sounds real through and through. Which is a quality in this day and age.

So, ladies and gentlemen, light'em up, lean back, put on the headphones, close your eyes and dream your way back to a time when bell-bottoms where hip, Ritchie Blackmore didn't play middle ages music, Ozzy hardly knew that there was something called television, and we all had (dark) flowers in our hair.

This is the perfect soundtrack for a journey back in time. Join the trip!


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)

Label: InsideOutMusic
Distribution: EMI (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 45/100
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen
Date: September 5th 2010
Website: Spiritual Beggars@MySpace