In your face rock
The Quill is a Swedish four piece, but it's clear to see there's an American rock influence here. The front cover of In Triumph features the Statue of Liberty smiling and giving the peace sign with her free hand. It's a fairly bizarre image, but it is somewhat fitting, such is this band's apparent genealogy. The comparison might be unwarranted, but I do detect a hint of Bon Jovi in there somewhere. But in a good way. Anyway, this is pretty rockin' stuff. Imagine some kind of crossbreeding of true metal and old school blues-based rock and roll.
This, I guess, could be described as a Swedish re-imagining of 70s rock, with all the swagger of early Soundgarden. In a sense, though, the album brings the listener back to the early 90s rather than the mid 70s, where the power of the 80s metal could be felt in the backbeat of the music, making this one strange nostalgia trip. Old memories play out in a brand new theatre of the mind.
As one might imagine, the success of a band like this lies fairly heavily with the vocals. This is no problem, however, since Magnus Ekwall has the powerful pipes and, I'm betting, the stage presence to back it up. But don't think the instrumentalists are slouches, either. The band is tight and precise and seemingly has all the rock credentials a band like this would need to be successful. The riffs are simple but effective; and The Quill just sounds like a band that tears it up live. The energy is undeniable.
Of course, the problem comes when you realise there are twelve tracks here, mostly over the four minute mark. As rocking as the Quill is, they perhaps overestimate their own abilities in the sense that...this kind of music can only sustain the attention of somebody who isn't an immediate friend of the band for short bursts of time. This is a great dip-into record, though, and as far as party rock goes, it's great stuff. But it's not quite heavy enough to blow you away, nor is it catchy enough to make the album a complete success. I keep using that word - or fake contraction - rockin'. And that's what it is. Rockin' and rollin' all over the fuckin' world.