(Album Review) MAULE - Maule
Release date: January 14, 2022 (Gates of Hell Records)
Written by Jeff Tighe
This is the initial full-length release from Canada's Maule. It is a 9 song, 38 minute slab of speedy, traditional heavy metal. The most obvious impression that will hit the listener is that the guitar riffs sound like early Iron Maiden. The twin guitar harmonies of Justin Walker and (now departed) Danny Gottardo are the driving force behind this album. Add on top of that the top notch lead breaks and it is clear that Maule are a guitar lovers' band.
The first four songs are all fast paced stompers that will have every car driver's left foot tapping and right foot pressing down on the accelerator. "Evil Eye", "Ritual", "Summoner" and "Maule" are all great tracks to open the album. And then the speed continues on "Red Sonja" and "Sword Woman", which has a riff driving it that reminds one of early Metallica. The first two thirds of this album show that the band are clearly in a hurry to deliver the goods to their listeners.
It isn't until the seventh song, "Father Time" the the proceedings slow down, and the riff in that number sounds like something Slayer would use in between their usual bursts of speed. The final three songs are all slower, and quite frankly, aren't as good as the first six, but it really is only the final song "We Ride" that lets the quality down. "March of the Dead" is a glorious track that would fit nicely on any Manowar album.
Jakob Weel's vocals are strong, and almost seem like a mix between Iron Maiden vocalists Paul Di'anno and Bruce Dickinson, which just reinforces the comparisons to that band. But Maule have written a strong album here and any repeated references to Eddie's bunch should be seen as a compliment rather than an accusation of derivation.
Overall, strongly recommended for lovers of traditional metal.