Formed in 1990 and based in Sweden, The Quill have released 9 albums over the past 28 years which is hardly prolific. However, quality is always better than quantity and the band have found a good level of success and a very sound fanbase. To remind the Rock community of their credentials within the stoner rock genre, The Quill have remastered and re-released their 2 most popular and well known albums with the addition of some extra bonus tracks.
Voodoo Caravan is the bands third album and was initially released in 2002 and quickly became a fan favourite. It is now regarded as the quintessential The Quill album featuring Arch Enemy guitarist Michael Amott as a guest on the albums best track (Shapes Of Afterlife). Lead singer Magnus Ekwall has a voice often compared to the much missed and extremely talented Chris Cornell. The vocal range is absolutely awesome and this is evident as soon as the title track opens this album and immediately has a 70’s Rock feel about it as does much of the rest of the album. The musical side of the band are equally talented and adept at their instruments which makes for a tight sounding and almost Black Sabbath noise. As previously mentioned Shapes Of Afterlife is an instantly accessible track with a killer guitar solo and affirms the quality of the songwriting within the band. (Wade Across) The Mighty River is Led Zeppelin meets Soungarden confirming the influences of the band. Original album closer Virgo is an 8 minute assault of everything good about The Quill. Great singing, brilliant guitar and an epic rhythm section all coming together to leave the listener wanting more! Luckily on this re-release the listener does indeed get more in the form of 3 bonus tracks. Firstly is the never heard before Spiral. It is unbelievable the track never made it onto the original release for reasons only the band can know. The song effortlessly sits well on the album as do the other 2 bonus tracks Gather Round The Sun and Thousand Years which were both only available previously on the Japanese CD release.
Due to the success of Voodoo Caravan the record company understandably wanted new music and fast. The Quill by this time were on a roll and at the top of their game so the band rushed into the studio to record the follow up Hooray! It’s A Deathtrip. Overall the songs on this album are more classic rock than stoner rock and the band seemed to be more relaxed and having more fun on this album noticeable by the more diverse and varied tracks. The listener will still hear the Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelin influences with a little more Nirvana and Kyuss thrown in for good measure. Throughout this album the band do not let up with song after song of hard rock, superb musicianship and excellent songwriting culminating in this album being the bands most successful to date. Sadly on this re-release you only get one bonus track the superb Been Here Once Before.
The Quill are a superb band of musicians with a vocalist who is instantly recognisable. Both of these albums have aged very well and will please hardcore fans while,hopefully, opening the eyes and ears of a new generation of Rock fans who may have overlooked the band previously.
Voodoo Caravan: 8/10
Hooray! It’s A Deathtrip: 7/10 (Due to lack of more bonus tracks)
Now this is more like it! As soon as the first song of the same titled debut CD of the band COUNTER VOID gets on it’s way and the vocals kick in, I am convinced that this is going to be an interesting adventure.
For lovers of crunchy, riff driven hard rock, strong bluesy vocals, hooks that you can hang a shark off and choruses that stick in your head for days to come, you need look no further. Lets hope that the band gets the chance to repeat the successes of the early 1990s. Although it’s a nice position to be in, it is going to be hard work for Alfonzetti to manage this, Red, White and Blues plus potentially more work with Impera as well. I’d suggest he gets Jeff Scott Soto on speed dial asap for tips!