JONAH QUIZZ – ANTHOLOGY 1980 – 1982 (Stormspell Records)

2009, compilation of recordings made between 1980 and 1982

Review by Omni: Jonah Quizz was a heavy metal band from Stomholm, Sweden that was primarily noteworthy due to being the first band to feature Johan Langquist, the vocalist who performed on Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and my personal favorite Candlemass vocalist. In addition to Langquist, the band featured guitarists Anders Bergman and Tony Bohman, bassist Kenth Edvardsson and drummer Anders Lindgren. The band recorded two demos, both of which have been featured on this compilation. This is the first time that the music of Jonah Quizz has seen an official release. The band recorded their songs in their native language, but all of the songs feature both Swedish and English track titles and lyrics.

The first four songs on this compilation are from the band’s second demo, recorded in 1982. While not particularly innovative, these songs all feature solid musicianship. The guitar work and Langquist’s distinctive vocals are a definite highlight here. The sound quality is also excellent for a demo recorded in the early 1980s. “Hjärtlös Stad” (“Heartless City” in English) is probably the standout track on this entire CD, with a powerful vocal performance that rivals Langquist’s work on the Candlemass debut album. These four songs would have been quite suitable for release as an EP in the 1980s. The remaining five songs make up the band’s 1980 demo. These songs are more rudimentary and the sound quality is definitely inferior to the 1982 recordings while still being very listenable. Langquist’s vocals lack the conviction that he would become known for with Candlemass and he is barely recognizable in comparison to his later work. The young band is spirited and ese songs are still enjoyable, but the relatively simplistic compositions lack the more refined sound of the tracks that precede them.

Taken as a whole, this is fairly pleasing collection of songs. It is a shame that Jonah Quizz wouldn’t go on to do more, as there are very few heavy metal songs with Johan Langquist on vocals. These days, he is recording pop music with Impulsia and it seems unlikely that he will return to heavy metal in the future. If you’re a fan of Swedish heavy metal and Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, this anthology is likely to prove to be a rewarding listening experience.

My rating: 80/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

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