March 8, 2022

Maule is a relatively new band from Vancouver, Canada which was formed in 2017 and this self-titled album is the bands sit up and take notice debut. I’m a bit of a sucker for all things NWOBHM and its updated version, New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal, although I fail to understand why it needs a new name as we all know that the new music is still inspired by those who flew the flag so gloriously in the late ’70s and early ’80s for the new and much more aggressive metal that ushered in a new age of music with a plethora of quality bands still with us today.

In truth, this album could have been recorded anytime from 1979 until now and it still has that raw, aggressive and in your face approach that so many of the NWOBHM band’s have virtually copy writed. You can hear the influences of bands like Angel Witch, Iron Maiden, Diamond Head and Blitzkrieg throughout the album which is fine for me as this is homage and not plagiarism but I wouldn’t even be bothered if it was! Come on, it’s heavy metal delivered at 100mph with screaming vocals, lots and lots of tortured, wailing guitars and drums and bass from hell so how can you not fall in love with it?

The band was formed by vocalists and guitarist Jakob Weel and bassist Johnny Maule and released the EP From Hell in 2019 which was effectively a live demo recording with all of those songs making it onto the full debut album and the sheer raw energy on the demo definitely raised expectation levels from the band and public alike. The original guitarist, Daniel Gottardo (not to be confused with the Italian guitarist Daniele Gottardo), plays all lead guitar breaks on the album but has subsequently left the band to be replaced by Justin Walker so it will be interesting to see what he brings to the band when they get back in the studio. Incidentally, just keep a watch out for Daniel Gottardo as this guy is going to be a major player in the metal world.

This near 40-minute album features nine tracks of intense heavy metal with plenty of thrash intensity and enough lead guitar riffs and solos to last you a lifetime. Jakob Weel has that hard and visceral delivery so beloved of NWOBHM bands and, together, the boys in the band have nailed a truly British sounding metal that is timeless and totally satisfying. The songs are the usual fantasy/sci-fi driven topics so beloved of metal bands and just seem so suited to be sung about over screaming guitars and thunderous drums, metal heaven! All we really need now is to see these bands back on stage and if Maule ever come across to our shores then a visit to a live show, preferably in a dark and sweaty club, is highly recommended.

Maule

  1. Evil Eye (3:58)
  2. Ritual (3:40)
  3. Summoner (4:26)
  4. Maule (4:15)
  5. Red Sonya (2:55)
  6. Sword Woman (3:46)
  7. Father Time (5:50)
  8. March of the Dead (3:57)
  9. We Ride (5:40)