The Quill – Wheel of Illusion (Metalville)

Wednesday, 27th March 2024
Rating: 8 / 10

With a history that starts in the early 90’s, Swedish act The Quill delivers a potent blend of heavy/stoner metal hard to miss over their discography. Up to the eleventh studio record, Wheel of Illusion continues to serve up a bluesy blend of groovy material, drenched in that low-tuned fuzzy sound that combined with twin guitar chord progressions plus soulful, emotional vocal melodies makes a highly addictive cocktail of influences that become impossible to resist. The exploration of the NWOBHM scene this time around creates even more hypnotic riffs than ever before – allowing Magnus Ekwall as a singer to infuse these nine cuts with a wider array from lower restraint to higher muscular power.

Be it Ozzy-period Black Sabbath-oriented along with key organ sequences for the opening title track or mystical in its psychedelic, outer realm charm for “Hawks & Hounds”, the quartet just embrace this proper songwriting mechanics no matter what idea they explore – intent in focus to let everything unfold as it should. Smaller details lead to bigger payoffs – bassist Roger Nilsson and drummer Jolle Atlagic creating this stoner groove magic through “Liber”, riding the wave as Christian Carlsson slithers up and down the neck using his wah-wah pedal and fingers in this smokey mid-paced doom haze. The final track “Wild Mustang” has the earmarks for a future epic classic that should be a mainstay in the band’s setlist for quite some time. Certain spiral sound effects enhance the intensity of Magnus’ melodies, the extended instrumental section a goldmine for those who enjoy musical interplay even in a slower, emotive format. The organic production values reward listeners as well – almost as if you are taking in the group live off the floor peaking into a white hot band session.

The cover art gives plenty of little nuggets to behold – while the lyrical content explores themes relating to personal introspection, human resilience, and the enigmatic nature of reality. Wheel of Illusion offers ardent followers of The Quill another landmark release that fits the ‘all killer/no filler’ category – plus could get some of the newer generation into the fold.

The Quill official website

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