ALBUM REVIEW: Maule – Maule

The New Year is often an opportunity to look to the future, to innovate and to tempt the unknown. Vancouver-based quartet MAULE worked their way against that grain – stretching back four decades to the lively creation of NWOBHM – and brought the twisty guitar harmonies and anthemic vocals of ’80s metal kicking and screaming into the modern era on their eponymous debut album. But is this a deserved resurrection of some of the genre’s most beloved sounds, or is it a passion beyond the product itself? Sadly, MAULE‘s the first exit is mainly the case of the latter. Good intentions? Yes. Well executed ? Maybe not.

Let’s start by painting the picture. As you would expect, it’s familiar, given the almost exclusive inspiration from the ’80s, and MAULE Keep things neat and tidy with compact bangers on either end of this sonic journey down memory lane. The band delivers their hits in quick succession, rarely venturing beyond the five-minute mark, into a tracklist reminiscent of the early days of the NWOBHM (think ANGEL WITCH and BLITZKREIG), but the songs sometimes borrow from the beginning of the thrash with Summoner and the disconcerting title Woman Sword the two sports riffs that could easily have been dismissed from METALLIC‘s two first albums. It’s not exactly a formula that leaves a lot of room to move forward because, on paper, MAULE took as many sheets of as many books as possible in a panicked dash and forgot to leave room for their own writing.

In doing so however, MAULE undoubtedly the sound and the atmosphere of the time with which they find themselves in love. The galloping harmonies of the guitar, the battle cry chants that accentuate the basic hooks of the record and even the rich warmth of the guitar sounds; it all stinks of ’80s metal and could in itself be a delicious love letter to those decades past. The opening of the album of the moment Evil eye unleashes his power and his singer Jakob wheel do his best Bruce Dickinson feel like it’s very difficult to keep control of your face as an inevitable smile starts to come off ear to ear and your thirst for £ 7 lager and a dingey place grows stronger.

Unfortunately, despite their blatant attachment to people like YOUNG LADY, you can only go so far as by capturing the spirit of something and MAULE is much more wit than substance – not so much Eddie as Edgar in this case. There is nothing inherently wrong with wearing your influences on your sleeves, newcomers like MENTOR proudly do this while adding their own genre-merging novelties, but sadly MAULE rarely adds anything new to the conversation. They can sense the “meaning” of their predecessor’s music, but what hurts the band the most is a lack of imagination. A feeling of déjà vu throughout the record’s nine tracks is sadly keen, with nearly everyone leaping out of the gates with a galloping lead riff only slightly incongruously until the end as the group rides that same tired galloping horse. and low and ready for the glue factory.

Hooks and choirs are equally seamless – a blessing in disguise Wheel‘s solo vocals can often be a point of contention when suspended in the high notes – as can the general approach to writing songs by numbers, with the exception of Paternal time where the band must have panicked when they realized they didn’t have a mid-tempo track. Fortunately, there is fun to be had elsewhere among the many solos of the LP. They’re all equally impossible to resist matching your finest aerial guitar and provide a glimpse into what might be, but beyond that notion the record gives very little to take away.

In general MAULE very closely followed the rulebook when they first fully appeared. It doesn’t bring any novelty or rejuvenation to the tired “good old” dialogue but it comes across as a well-intentioned piece of metal music that is perfectly usable in 2022. The guys are clearly talented but it’s packed under a reductive attitude towards songwriting and a general lack of evolution through the LP’s quick 38-minute runtime. We can only hope that this is a safe first step for newcomers and that they just need a touch of affirmation to get out of their comfort zone, because at the moment it does. looks a lot more like “Darth Jar Jar” than “Darth MAULE.

Rating: 5/10

Maule - Maule

Maule is slated for release on January 14 via Gates Of Hell Records.

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