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The Quill: Earthrise

With their ninth full-length album, Earthrise, veteran act The Quill deliver yet another slab of doomy stoner metal that oozes with attitude and panache straight out of the 70's. A bit like Sabbath at the slower, doomier moments and not unlike Cathedral with more melodic and tuneful vocals on the bouncier and more energetic stuff, it's a fairly varied album with mixed results.

Earthrise is at its best when the songs are fairly up-tempo and the length of the tracks are kept fairly short and sweet. The first two tracks, "Hallucinate" and "Keep on Moving" are great tracks that easily could have come out beside albums by Heep or Zeppelin in their heyday, but with a nice crunchy modern production. Vocalist Magnus Ekwall has a great voice that really brings a touch of soaring traditional metal grace to the whole thing as well, which in my opinion is something that this particular genre could benefit from greatly in most cases. "Dwarf Planet" , the prerequisite song on a stoner rock album (seemingly) about outer space slows things down a bit, but the guitars are crunchy and the solo tasty enough to deliver the goods. "Left Brain Blues" speeds things up again slightly, but it's not as memorable as the earlier two up-tempo tracks. Also, the chorus suffers from the issue that Iron Maiden struggles with these days, in that it's just the song title repeated a few times. Bleh.

The title track is pretty excellent, and along with "Keep on Moving" is one of the standout tracks on here. Quick and crunchy, but with parts that slow down to a glacial trudge with riffs to match, it's a worthy album namesake. Sadly, after this the album loses some focus, with the almost 10 minute long "Evil Omen" feeling a bit like a chore to finish. "21st Century Sky" is pure Sabbath worship of the highest order, and not at all bad but definitely not up to the highs earlier in the album. "The Zone" brings us another lengthy-ish track, and by this point things are beginning to bleed together a bit and become samey. The final track, "Dead River" is an acoustic guitar driven song, with spacey vocal effects and hand claps, which is a moody and fitting end for an album that sees the band worshiping at the altar of so many legendary acts that have done the same.

Earthrise is a solid listen, and if you are a fan of The Quill's specific brand of sludgy hard rock and metal, you should find some great material here to get your blood pumping and your bong water rolling. While it's a bit overlong and has peaks and valleys in terms of songwriting quality, there's more than a few reasons to check this one out.

Track Listing:
1. Hallucinate
2. Keep On Moving
3. Dwarf Planet
4. Left Brain Blues
5. Earthrise
6. Evil Omen
7. 21st Century Sky
8. The Zone
9. Dead River

Added: April 6th 2021
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 661
Language: english

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