Review: Maverick – Ethereality
Metalapolis Records (April 1st, 2021)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
Full disclosure, I’m going in cold here. The band Maverick has been a named praised by many who listen to Euro Hard Rock, but in briefly checking out a few songs a few years ago, nothing seemed to grab me about the band from the two different albums I checked out. I am happy to report that I need to go back and reverse engineer this band to find out what made the band make such a spectacular album. This is quite simply an impressive, fantastic release.
The album opens with ‘Falling‘. It checks off all the right boxes in my quest for Melodic Rock goodness. Chugging guitars..check. Swagger..check. Well done gang vocals at all the right parts..check. It’s at this point that I strap myself in for the ride.
Track 2 combines my love of driving hard rock with a tinge of horror. ‘Thirst‘ is exactly what you think it’s about. Subtle hints of the vampiric lifestyle set to a driving beat that will have you wanting to hit the town just as the sun sets so you can blast this song from your car.
The triple assault is complete with the next track ‘Never‘, which sounds like it’s been tailored made to be a lead off single, even though it’s not. The most melodically accessible track on the album. While formulaic, when done well as it is here, there’s no denying it’s catchiness.
That leads me to Track 4, and first single, ‘Switchblade Sister‘. While the song rocks with a Skid Row-type groove, it is not as good as the first three songs that start the album and seemed like a odd choice to introduce the new album to the public. It’s a solid album track for sure, but not single material. Even the next two tracks (‘Bells of Stygian‘ and ‘Angels 6‘) are better songs than this one. ‘Angels 6‘ in particular throws the album into overdrive, as it’s one of the two heaviest song on the album. It’s one of those “Be careful while you’re driving” type songs as you’ll instinctively slam on the gas if it’s on.
That brings me to the only other critique of the album. Tracks 7, 8, and 9 can’t compete with the first six tracks, making the album slightly top-heavy. That’s not to say that these three songs are not good, just not as good. A reordering to mix these three songs in between the first six would have made those songs not stick out so much.
Finally, we have the last track, ‘Ares‘. The other heavier, darker, and most metallic groove on the album. The last 50 seconds have my favorite sing along gang vocals on the album and once you hear the song several times it will be impossible for you not to shout along to those lyrics.
As a reviewer inexperienced in their history, this album has me scratching my head wondering how I could have let this band pass me by. I will have to immediately correct that. For those also unfamiliar with this band, if you love bands like Kissin’ Dynamite, Skid Row, and Temple Balls, then this is the album for you. For me, I can’t see it not being in my Top 10 Albums of the Year.