The Quill - Earthrise
Bluesy Heavy Metal / Hard Rock
9 songs ()
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Alex

The Quill are a Swedish institution, but it is the one I have totally missed. They have existed since the mid-1980s, and have close to ten full length albums, of which I have heard none. The Quill vocalist Magnus Ekwall appeared with Ayreon on The Human Equation and their bassist Roger Nilsson played live with Arch Enemy, the facts I didn’t know. Earthrise then is my fresh start with The Quill and it will be evaluated by me as a debut without earlier historical references or formed biases and prejudices.

The opener Hallucinate, although a single in the band’s mind, didn’t quite sway me with its pedestrian pace and disposition, but punchy rocker Keep on Moving is an excellent picker upper and got things going with its buoyant energetic riffing. The title track itself is also bouncy and displays the power of the main riff with a weaving bluesy lead. Bluesy or stoner is an adjective I can attach to The Quill unabashedly and it is cuts of that nature on Earthrise I appreciated more than Hallucinate or another less exciting 21st Century Sky. Evil Omen develops from a dreamy slumber opening to dark rock with distinct chords. The bass presence is felt behind growing dark guitar swells and the band milks melodic chorus lines for all their worth. The Quill likes going on long instrumental runs, a trademark of any bluesy metal band, Dwarf Planet being a most obvious example. You have to have instrumental skills and musicianship to play this stuff, to make these forays sound improvisational when in reality they are probably well planned. Dwarf Planet opens with brooding dark psychedelia and cosmic blips, title fitting, and its meaty bearish gate which follows is far from sweet. A latter day Black Sabbath came to mind when I listened to Dwarf Planet. Left Brain Blues incorporates blues even in the title, and makes your head bob to the catchy rhythms. Heaviness and flower power meet right where they need to, in the middle, and the band just goes on playing their brew dialing up the pressure throughout the song. The Zone is another bouncy piece, ratcheting things up, perfect in a small smoke filled bar room, but good for a bigger venue as well. The Quill close Earthrise with balladeering American strum of Dead River, out of place on many albums, but not Earthrise.

The more I listened to the album, the more I got into the band. The first run was meh, but then I put more thinking yet more relaxing cap on, and just let The Quill carry me, which they did. On the wrong side of 50 I feel I need to be listening to music like this more.

Killing Songs :
Dwarf Planet, Left Brain Blues, Earthrise, Evil Omen, The Zone
Alex quoted 78 / 100
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