By Dr. Abner Mality

THE QUILL are back! I’ve loved this Swedish hard rock/retro metal outfit since I first heard “Voodoo Caravan” in the early 2000’s but their subsequent output has sometimes not been that easy to find. I’m happy to say that “Earthrise”  hearkens back to the aforementioned “Voodoo Caravan” and is the best album they’ve done since then.

That’s obvious right from the jump with “Hallucinate”. This has got that mean SABBATH-meets-ZEPPELIN crunch riff that sinks right into your braincells. Man, what a monster singer Magnus Ekvall is! Reminds me of the late, great Ray Gillen...come to think of it, BADLANDS is another band that can be compared to THE QUILL. The album is full of these rough and ready roots metal tunes like the title track, “Left Brain Blues” and “The Zone”. It’s pretty clear that “Voodoo Caravan” is the template for this album, as some of the grunge touches the band dabbled with have receded into the background.

There are some longer, trippier cuts like “Evil Omen” and “Dwarf Planet” that start out kind of psychedelic and work their way up to more thunderous riffs and killer solos from Christian Carlsson, who’s based his work on the legends like Page, Blackmore and Iommi. A great guitarist. The album ends with the raw acoustic blues of “Dead River”, which is also a QUILL trademark.

When they stay with what they know best, there’s very few bands in this style that can do it better than THE QUILL. “Earthrise” proves it. Why don’t Nuclear Blast or Metal Blade give these guys a try?