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Queens of the Stone Age  (US)

...Like Clockwork  (2013,  46.04)  ***

In some ways, I'm surprised Queens of the Stone Age haven't turned up here before, 'alt.' artists (never mind ones with a conjoined 'metal' identity) frequently tending towards using a Mellotron somewhere along the line. 2013's ...Like Clockwork is their sixth album, as diverse as I presume their earlier releases to be (sorry, never heard one all the way through), from sludge-goth opener Keep Your Eyes Peeled through the ZZ Topalike I Sat By The Ocean to the synthy The Vampyre Of Time And Memory and the epic balladry of the closing title track. Better tracks include the manic My God Is The Sun and the (slightly) angular Fairweather Friends, but this stuff really isn't floating my boat, if I'm going to be honest. Bassist Michael Shuman seems to be the band's odd-job man at this point in their existence, adding (variously) guitar, vocals, keyboards and percussion to various tracks, including credited Mellotron on the title track, although, given the track's real strings, it's nigh-on impossible to tell what he might be playing and I suspect it's sampled anyway.

Quick Step John  (US)

The Multiple Personalities of Last Week and Next Year  (2007,  43.05)  *½

Philadelphia's Quick Step John sound like an unholy cross between Coldplay and U2, particularly on Everyone Like You. The end result is, as you might expect, truly, truly awful. 'Transcendent' my arse. Greg Maragos plays samplotron flutes on Let It Go and Awake Or Alive, strings on Sing and Up On A Satellite and choirs on closer 9.9.

Les Quitriche  (Germany)

La Récolte  (2010,  43.38)  **½

La Récolte is an odd, '60s-influenced album - not in an especially good way, sadly - that throws Vox organs, French-language vocals (although they're from Stuttgart) and the occasional harpsichord together in a haphazard fashion. I suppose it does what it does reasonably well (he says, grudgingly), but identifying any obvious 'best tracks' is a struggle. No fewer than three people are credited with Mellotron, Serpentine Quitriche, Loup de Loup Quitriche and Eric Due de Poiron (some of which may not be their real names), but why it needs so many people to add sampled flutes to Jules Et Catherine and cellos to closer GT 86 remains a mystery.

Quorthon  (Sweden)

Purity of Essence  (1997,  97.07)  ***½

Tomas "Quorthon" Forsberg, in his first incarnation, Bathory, was one of a number of metal musicians who actually took thrash pioneers Venom's ridiculous cod-Satanism seriously; the project was even named for that band's Countess Bathory, from their genre-defining/naming second album, 1982's Black Metal. After a raft of Bathory releases, Forsberg's second 'solo' album, 1997's two-disc Purity of Essence, is the total opposite of what you might expect, being a collection of fairly commercial mainstream metal, sometimes tipping over into pop/metal territory, highlights including the insistent I've Had It Coming My Way, Coming Down In Pieces and the epic Label On The Wind. Forsberg credits himself with Mellotron, but while the string sound on When Our Day Is Through might just pass muster as 'Mellotronic', the generic synth strings on Fade Away and several other tracks aren't fooling anyone, all assuming they're meant to.