The Swedish rockers from Mönsterås come back with a great album, called ‘Wheel of Illusion’, full throttle and with a very inspired and diverse album, which sounds very modern and contemporary, but on the other hand it is deeply rooted and derived from the 70s hard rock scene. This is band capable of producing some of the finest hard rock/blues albums out there and the ‘Wheel of Illusion’ is no exception to that rule. On the contrary, we are talking about a brilliant follow-up to the very nice ‘Earthrise’ of 2021, a continuity which shows the evolution of the band through time.
The Quill is a band with more than 30 years of career, actually the celebrated their 30 years anniversary in May 2022, in their hometown with an emotional and powerful gig. It is also a band dedicated and committed to their roots, something which characterize their new album as well. Beautiful hard rock melodies with memorable and inspired riffs, a rhythm section from two of the best out there on bass and drums and one of my favorite singers who really performs fantastic on this one. ‘Wheel of Illusion’ can easily direct you to Black Sabbath’s ‘Wheels of Confusion’ and sure has Birmingham’s finest as a main influence, both on vocals and also on the riffs and the overall structure of the majority of the songs (e.g.: ‘Sweet Mass Confusion’). Speaking about structure, this is a very well-structured album from the beginning to the end, which showcases the great work achieved by the band.
Something I am also really fond of the Quill (not only on this album but throughout their career) is the oriental feeling and tone on their guitars, their intros to the songs and the magnificent arrangement of all instruments (e.g.: ‘Hawks and Hounds’), something that brings out a bit of Led Zeppelin with of course the psychedelic and vintage element omnipresent. Simply in a brilliant way! ‘Liber’ takes on the groove and Magnus Ekwall shines on the vocals, while the rest of the band actually define the status of the whole record: awesome! ‘The Last Thing’ is another classic of the band, where the feeling and the sound of drums especially is very organic and warm, adding to the unique charm of the album in particular and the band in general. ‘Wild Mustang’, an almost 8 mins song, slows down the pace, in a doomier and heavier atmosphere, but with references to psychedelia again, mellow leads and solos, a groovy passage and of course gloomy lyrics (“This is a good day to die”), highlighting the melancholic ending of the album. An album which is definitely a highlight of their long career and reminds us how great this band really is.
Have no illusions: this album is a fantastic music journey, crafted by one of Sweden’s finest bands and it will be definitely loved by