Review | The Quill – Wheel Of Illusion

Metalville Records

Together with their countrymen of Spiritual Beggars it is safe to say that the boys from The Quill have been a steady factor in the European metal scene for several decades now. Starting out in 1995 with their self-titled album the band around founding member Christian Carlsson (guitar) was in their first years heavily influenced by classic rock acts such as Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. As the band moved on, they slowly but surely developed a style that can be described as an exciting musical cocktail between stoner rock, metal, doom metal with a sniff of psychedelic features with most of the time the emphasis on riffs that have a high-octane power and sometimes remind you quite obviously of the grandmaster of doom metal: mister Tony Iommi.


During the years The Quill has released a steady flow of albums, with ‘Wheel Of Illusion’ being the eleventh one in their discography. Even since the return of original singer Magnus Ekwall in 2017 for the album ‘Born From Fire’ The Quill sound more stable and more determined than ever. Maybe the fact that all band members (bass player Roger Nilsson and drummer George ‘Jolle’ Atlagic) have several side-projects besides The Quill that gives them the focus they need when they are together to create material for this group. Knowing precisely the direction they want to follow.


Let there be no mistake around the musical direction here. Also ‘Wheel Of Illusion’ is a blasting cocktail of several styles blended together into something that makes The Quill sound as The Quill. This is quite a unique band. Sure, you will hear Sabbath-type of riffs being the main ingredient here (listen to ,,Sweet Mass Confusion’’ or the title-track) but as a whole this record sounds as a sonic whirlwind that has devastating power in its execution. Ekwall is the guy sowing it all together with his characteristic voice and several songs have been coloured in with some orchestration and keys.


In a way there is maybe at first sight not so much difference between this record and its older brothers ‘Earthrise’ and ‘Born From Fire’. The big difference is though that ‘Wheel Of Illusion’ has an intensity the band has never ever displayed before. Every note, each lyric, each drum beat, riff, or bass line has a purpose, yet, the album still sounds as a spontaneous combustion, an explosion that is always under control. Add to that the consistency of the songs and the powerful overall sound which leads to the conclusion that even after almost 30 years in the business a band is still able to grow and improve. The Quill has done that with ‘Wheel Of Illusion’ making it their masterpiece in their career!

Release date: 29 March 2024



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