QUILLS, Quills (2006, Galy)
What is that, there behind the skull? A bird? A moth, a Rorschach inkblot? There don’t seem to be a single high-resolution scan of this cover anywhere on the internet, so it’s a bit hard to say what’s happening here. Is the skull sporting long sabre teeth, or are those just tail feathers? Why are his eye sockes glowing? This is a highly mysterious and tediously boring skull at the same time. Any more time spent pondering the dumb enigma of Quills’s cranial mascot is sure to be time wasted.
I didn’t expect much from Quills until I noticed they were on Galy Records, a label in Montreal with more than a few excellent bands (Martyr, Unexpect, Horfixion, Shades of Dusk, etc). And sure enough, Quills are not the sludgy doom band I expected, but something of a weird mix of Mastodon-style technical stoner metal (if such a thing can be said to exist) and highly controlled grindcore. The vocals are basically hardcore yelling (and are quite bad), but although this entire EP is under 8 minutes, there is still some excellent riffing on display, and the playing manages to sound both tight and ragged at the same time. The nearest comparison I can make would be Sulaco, and that’s probably too obscure to be useful, but suffice it to say, Quills are really not bad at all. Then again, they’ve only produced about 13 minutes of music in nearly ten years, so holding out for their world-changing full length would represent a poor investment of one’s emotional resources.
— Friar Johnsen