Another year, another trad metal revivalist assault unit… But are Maule as worthy of your attention as any of the other legion of true metal pretenders to the throne?
The short answer to this question is yes, very! These Canadian natives are comparatively new to the scene, but they bring a sound steeped in the very best of both their own nation’s heavy metal traditions as well as the more prosaic NWoBHM tropes, the mix of which actually makes for some pretty exciting listening!
On barnstorming efforts like Sword Woman and March of the Dead, the band manage to forge a fiery brew of Di’Anno-era Maiden and fellow New Wavers Angel Witch to the raw-edged modernity of fellow Canucks 3 Inches of Blood; the fast paced Evil Eye adds a more modern touch a la vintage Striker to the whirlpool of sound, but luckily Maule have enough going for them individually to stop this from merely turning into some sort of metal jukebox. Jakob Wheel has enough personality to his vocals to avoid direct comparison with anyone in particular, which is obviously a plus, whilst guitarists Daniel Gottardo (since replaced by Justin Walker) and Wheel deliver a superbly raw-edged but melodic attack right out of the top drawer of classic metal sounds. Their Thin Lizzy-styled opening gambit on second track Ritual is a particular joy to behold.
Whilst undoubtedly stylistically solid, the band do however take the chance to roam through their chosen theatre of operations at will; from the doom-laded strains of We Ride to the semi-thrash of their eponymous anthem Maule, these guys have every true metal base covered. Not only that, they do it with conviction and style; the solo section of Maule is a delirious, deliciously executed call back to the glory days of true metal, delivered simply, irony-free and dripping with sincerity. It’s the sort of unalloyed heavy metal that made you fall in love with the genre in the first place, and points to a bright future for these guys in the years to come. Highly recommended!
Maule releases on January 14th.