A solid rebirth

While they have been somewhat under the radar in comparison to a lot of their contemporaries, Swedish stoner rock quartet The Quill have been putting out some catchy and groovy albums since their inception in 1990 and they have just released their sixth album Full Circle, with a new singer that ushers in a new beginning and new territory.

As a whole, Full Circle has its peaks and valleys and seems to be unintentionally split into two halves. Within the first half, there are some hard rocking tunes such as the bright and dynamic album opener “Sleeping With Your Enemy”, “24/7 Groove”, the sitar-tinged “Black Star” and the Led Zeppelin-like “Medicine”. But tracks like “Bring it On”, the title track and “River of Moonchild” suffer from repetitiveness and fall short of the mark.

However on the second half of Full Circle, The Quill seem to find their way and hit a few right out of the park until the very end. “Running” utilises a driving and straight forward stomp, “No Easy Way Out” slinks and slides with a blues mentality, “More Alive” shares the bright and dynamic approach of the opener, “White Flag” (reminiscent of their older days) and “Pace that Kills” offers some very heavy riffs and “Waiting for the Sun” is a musical trip tinged with melody that rounds off the proceedings quite well.

Admittedly, a listener can be quite skeptical when a key element has changed within a band and former frontman Magnus Ekwall had a dynamic voice quite similar to Chris Cornell that set a precedent for The Quill’s sound. Enter new vocalist Magnus Arnar, who has a bit of a different vocal range in the vein of Sammy Hagar or Firewind/Spiritual Beggars’ Apollo Papathanasio. It conjures a different vibe and sounds a little lacking in comparison to Ekwall’s approach at times. But that’s not to say that he doesn’t pull off some excellent performances such as the aforementioned “White Flag”, “Sleeping With Your Enemy”, “Waiting for the Sun” and “Black Star”. His style works in some ways but lets it down in others.

Through adversity, The Quill have found their way and are coming around full circle and starting anew. There are some solid, hard rocking tunes and there are some that just don’t hit the mark. It is a solid rebirth and with time they will come out with an album that could rival Voodoo Caravan in terms of song writing and magnitude.

1. Sleeping With Your Enemy
2. Full Circle
3. Black Star
4. Medicine
5. Bring it On
6. River of Moonchild
7. 24/7 Groove
8. White Flag
9. Pace that Kills
10. No Easy Way Out
11. Running
12. More Alive
13. Waiting for the Sun