ReviewsMaverick – Silver Tongue (Metalapolis Records)

Maverick – Silver Tongue (Metalapolis Records)

Lots of firsts behind this fifth studio record Silver Tongue for Irish act Maverick. Recorded in separate countries remotely, this is the first record with the original Quid Pro Quo lineup that was last together in 2014, as former drummer Mike Ross returned in 2021. Over the years playing with prime-time bands like Treat and Crashdiet as well as sharing the stage at festivals across Europe where acts like Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Tesla performed, it’s obvious these gentlemen traverse a familiar brand of bluesy-based melodic hard rock/metal, the eleven original tracks (as well as a killer Steel Dragon cover) infectious in their execution of focused hooks, grooves, as well as supplementary fiery tricks of the trade.

Upon first exposure to tracks such as “Halfway to Heaven” and “Sweet Surrender” there’s this professional grace to the musical hooks and soaring vocal melodies that positions the choruses into dream team arena roars from the crowd territory. The axe duo of Ryan Balfour and Ric Cardwell adequately fill the songs in the spirit of classic 80s-oriented hard rock with metal inflections brilliantly – even laying back in some of the verses of “Evenfall” to allow bassist Richie Diver prominence through his hefty low-end lines as drummer Mike Ross comfortably hits that steady snare/kick groove. Occasionally the mood veers into slightly darker or emotional stirring angles, where the band can expand horizons into heavier chord progressions or cleaner ambiance to accentuate the killer pipes from vocalist David Balfour – his charisma beyond the obvious bird call highs taking “Time” into one of the highlights of this record. You wouldn’t know this album was recorded over multiple continents thanks to the wonder of home studio/modern technology, containing the larger-than-life gang choruses or sweet musical progressions that align with the current crop of melodic metal / hard rock acts parading their wares across the globe. And for those that love the Rock Star movie, that signature song “We All Die Young” from the film closes the record, David reaching back for those metallic falsetto notes that never fail to impress as the fluid clean to aggressive guitar lines beg listeners to bow at the call of the genre.

Fortunate to take in many of the previous records, Silver Tongue illustrates Maverick as a steady, confident group of musicians that write addictive songs ready to raise the energy level no matter how small or large the audience is. Although this subgenre seems cult-like in appeal compared to its 80s/early 90s heydays, there is still plenty of life left in the tank to these ears.

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8.5 / 10