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The Quill - Born from Fire

The Quill
Born from Fire
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 13 November 2017, 12:10 PM

Other than Finland, I can’t think of another country that rocks as hard as Sweden.  It seems whatever is in those Nordic waters is full of stuff that makes people want to form kick ass Metal/Hard Rock bands.  Enter THE QUILL, a Stoner Rock/Hard Rock band from Stockholm.  Magnus Ekwall’s voice is a mixture of 70’s style rock vocals, like DEEP PURPLE and more modern bands like Chris Cornell of SOUNDGARDEN.  I even hear some 80’s influences, such as THE CULT in him.  He is a great vocalist, even if his voice isn’t super powerful but he definitely fits the style of this band and their grungy approach to this rocking amalgamation of Stoner Rock and 70’s style hard rock. Guitarist Christian Carlsson has riffs for days, even more impressive considering he is the only ax man of the group.  The riffs are thick like they should be but not overly sludgy.  Bassist Roger Nilsson is the one in the group that really lays down that Stoner sound, what with his big, fuzzed out bass that provides a rock solid foundation.  Jolle Atlagic’s drums are what you would expect: well done and tight but nothing too flashy or hammering.

But once I got past how talented the band is, I noticed some issues with the song writing.  Unfortunately, some of the songs are a bit too long and full of pointless fluff. “Keep It Together,” at just over six minutes in length, feels like it could had cut a couple minutes on either end.  In the six minutes nothing happens to warrant such a lengthy track.  The repetitive lyrics (I lost count of how many times the phrase, “Keep It Together,” was said during the song) definitely hold it back.  If over use of lyrics and the slow intro to the track were cut out, there would be a decent track here.  “Set Free Black Crow,” has the exact same problem: too much time spent on doing basically nothing.  Its eight minutes long but it felt double that.  All of the tracks over six minutes long, almost half the album, suffer from this plodding feel. None of the songs are actually bad but  it seems like they just run on longer than they need to, just for the sake of it.  If there were some time changes, sonic passages or epic landscapes it would be different but that isn’t the kind of thing this band does and its hard to enjoy Stoner Rock for longer than necessary.

However, not all the songs are exhausting.  The opener “Stone Believer,” is the perfect showcase for what this band can do when it all comes together.  The riffs, vocals…everything in this song flows so well.  A perfect opening track, if I ever heard one.  “Spirit and the Spark,” features some very heavy bass and solid riffs turning the song into an almost drone like experience in head banging.“Skull & Bones,” is held together by energetic and punchy drumming.  The song itself just has a certain feel to it, I can tell they had a lot of fun playing this one. It’s no coincidence these tracks are some of the shorter ones on the album.  When the band forgets the fluff and just cuts to the chase, they are pretty unstoppable.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Stone Believer
2. Snake Charmer Woman
3. Ghosthorse
4. Keep It Together
5. The Spirit and The Spark
6. Skull & Bones
7. Set Free Black Crow
8. Electrical Sons
9. Hollow of Your Hand
10. Unchain Yourself
11. Revelation
12. Metamorphosis
Lineup:
Magnus Ekwall – Vocals
Jolle Atlagic – Drums
Roger Nilsson – Bass
Christian Carlsson – Guitars
Record Label: Metalville Records
     


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