Spiritual Beggars - Ad Astra
Music For Nations
Stoner Metal
12 songs (54:20)
Release year: 2000
Spiritual Beggars, Music For Nations
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

Spiritual Beggars have been around since the mid-nineties, having been formed by guitarist Michael Amott of Arch Enemy and Carcass fame. I am a fan of most things Amott is a part of as he always brings his unique style to the music. This stoner metal/hard rock side project of his is a great, creative band that has shown a lot of talent and energy throughout their career. Ad Astra is the fourth album by the Swedish band and builds on what they have accomplished in the past as well as introduces a few new elements to the sound. This is also an excellent listen for anyone who is a fan of the hard rock bands of the 70s and 80s as it has that sort of vintage hard rock sound. The songs are catchy and easy to get into, and the musicians also bring a lot of technical skill to the table, which makes it sound that much better.

The songs are mostly characterized by that groovy guitar riffing style that gives the songs and the band its catchy heavy metal sound. It's an old formula that goes back to the earliest hard rock bands such as Black Sabbath and Rainbow, but these guys know how to do it and not sound like they are just regurgitating their influences. I really like how the keyboards are used on this album as well, and they are much more prevalent than in much of the band's past work. They do not overpower any other instrument, but are always noticeable in the mix and always masterfully played by Per Wiberg. A perfect example is the song Mantra, a slower, balladesque track, in which the keyboard creates the perfect melancholic atmosphere along with some melodic guitar work.

There isn't a whole lot of really complex stuff in this music, but that's not what this band strives for. They create catchy, memorable tunes that you can listen to many times. Ad Astra does many of the same things as previous Spiritual Beggars' efforts; it just does them better. Just about every song on this album is enjoyable to listen to time after time. This is one of those rare albums I can put on over and over and never get tired of hearing.

Killing Songs :
Wonderful World, Angel Of Betrayal, Blessed, Escaping The Fools, but really all of them are great!
Khelek quoted 94 / 100
Other albums by Spiritual Beggars that we have reviewed:
Spiritual Beggars - Return To Zero reviewed by Khelek and quoted 83 / 100
Spiritual Beggars - On Fire reviewed by Danny and quoted 95 / 100
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