Maverick’s fifth full-length album, Silver Tongue, is a triumphant return for the Belfast-based hard rock band, showcasing their musical evolution and the synergy of their reunited original lineup. Recorded across multiple studios in Northern Ireland and the USA, the album benefits from diverse influences and a dynamic range of styles, bolstering Maverick’s reputation in the modern hard rock scene massively in the process.

The album kicks off with Puppet Show, a powerful, strident opener driven by a pounding bass and strategically placed power chords, setting the tone with its energetic and aggressive feel. The song features a memorable solo that perfectly encapsulates Maverick’s hard-hitting style.

Sweet Surrender follows, a slow-blooming track that builds to an irresistible chorus. Its great bridge transitions seamlessly into another superb solo, which, along with some superb vocalisation from Dave Balfour, helps to echo the melodic sensibilities of Nelson. The song’s structure and execution make it an instant standout.

Daywalker delivers pure, unadulterated hair metal mayhem, reminiscent of the glory days of Skid Row and Extreme. Its high-octane energy and classic metal vibe make it a thrilling addition to the album. Lorelei, on the other hand, is a classy, well-executed balladic track. With chunky rhythm guitars, dramatic arrangements, and stellar vocals, it showcases perfectly the band’s versatility and emotional range.

Halfway to Heaven brings back the driving, insistent hard rock energy, featuring a memorable chorus that sticks with you long after the song ends. However, it’s Evenfall that steals the show. Hailed (by me, anyway) as the best song on the album, it boasts a killer chorus and standout performances from all band members. If written by a more notable band, this track would be celebrated as a classic for the ages.

Next up is Bloody Mary introduces a dirtier, more modern sound, blending hair metal vibes with influences like Black Stone Cherry. This track exemplifies Maverick’s ability to modernise their core sound while staying true to their roots. Time, another balladic track, slightly dips in momentum but is saved by a superb lead guitar break, demonstrating the band’s consistent musical prowess.

Hideaway sadly isn’t a cover of the Leatherwolf classic, but it places Maverick in the company of such esteemed bands. Do Or Die is another classy, dramatic rocker with a hint of prog, reminiscent of Savatage. Its complex structure and powerful delivery highlight the band’s ability to touch real musical depth whilst still maintaining high levels of what we in the trade call ‘rockability’.

Penultimate track Cheyenne is a full-blooded rocker that, while solid, feels a bit ordinary compared to the rest of the album. However, the closing track, All Die Young, gets things back on track spectacularly, combining a hint of grunge with Steelheartesque vocals, concluding the album on a high note with its superb composition and execution.

Silver Tongue marks a significant chapter in Maverick’s career. The album’s production across different studios and countries has infused it with a rich, unique sound that resonates with the band’s evolution and newfound influences. With standout tracks like Evenfall and All Die Young Maverick proves they are not only back but better than ever. This album is a must-listen for fans of melodic hard rock with a metal edge, and sets a very high bar for the opposition for the coming months…

Silver Tongue releases on June 21st