Genre: STONER ROCK/HEAVY METAL/HARD ROCK
Released by: Metalville
Release date: 25th August 2017
Magnus Ekwall – Vocals,
Jolle Atlagic – Drums,
Roger Nilsson – Bass,
Christian Carlsson – Guitars
1. Stone Believer
2. Snake Charmer Woman
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
“Born from Fire”, the latest release from Swedish rockers ‘The Quill’ features the return of original vocalist Magnus Ekwall after a ten year sabbatical – the product of which I could condense briefly as musical, vocal and lyrical brilliance…but that would be cheating and an album of this calibre is undeniably worthy of a more detailed analysis.
“Born From Fire” kicks off with the hypnotic Stone Believer. With a catchy rhythm, sharp vocals, trance inducing guitar and impressive percussion, this is a lengthy but perfect opening track that accurately sets the pace of this production.
Hot on its heels Snake Charmer Woman features fantastic thundering rhythm and heavy vocals, however the focal point of this track for me is how the WOMAN vocal is trilled. Elongated and drawn out, it is reminiscent of Robert Plant at his peak. Fast moving and heavy from start to finish, some fantastic guitar riffs bring this to its conclusion.
Ghosthorse, as the name may suggest has a dark, sinister edge. There is a tempo change midway where vocals sound more distant and echoey and the track features backing vocals towards the end. Percussion throughout is phenomenal.
Keep it Together commences with evocative, haunting vocals accompanied by notably softer music. Guitar and drums then take a heavier twist and an equally haunting guitar riff winds its way in further along in the song.
Magnus Ekwall is a fantastic vocalist and in my opinion the strength of vocals is best demonstrated in Set Free Black Crow which also features some amazing guitar experimentation and heavy duty percussion. This is a particularly lengthy offering which has a significant and unexpected change around the midway mark and an abrupt ending.
Electrical Sons starts as it means to go on – heavy and fast paced, it’s short but memorable featuring the lyrics “Born from the Fire” which I assume to be reference to the album title, or perhaps the title bears reference to this track…
The album concludes with Metamorphosis. A mellow, delicate song with a chilled out vibe is a good way to sign off and this track fits the bill perfectly.
This album may be a classic heavy metal collection at its core but there is so much more to it – musical diversity and experimentation feature in every track and therefore it would be doing it a great injustice to summarise it as such. There are many changes of style and tempo undertaken with skill and precision, clear testimony to the talent of this four piece band.
Packing in a mighty 12 songs, many over 6 minutes in length, the quantity and quality of material on this album could not fail to impress and it is undoubtedly one of the best releases I’ve heard this year.
Review by Karen Hetherington