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Maudlin Of The Well - Bath CD (album) cover

BATH

Maudlin Of The Well

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.16 | 218 ratings

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Shakespeare
3 stars I first heard the name Toby Driver through his more popular project Kayo Dot. Via online communities, I was veered towards some more of his projects. I soon acquired the sophomore Dot album, the sole Tartar Lamb album, and have had Driver's solo album extremely high on my priority list for a while now. The last Driver project (aside from the Bloody Panda/Kayo Dot split I've had misery finding) for me to acquire is the catalog of maudlin of the Well. This has been the hardest for me to absorb, as it contains a lot of elements of music I regularly repel automatically.

For example, some of the vocal work, guitar work, and even the mood is comparable to the modern brand of emo music (a false term, to be sure, but the one it has been clad nonetheless). Its prominent metal flavour is in a style I don't share much love for, but can tolerate. Despite these things I dislike, though, there's a lot that intrigued me about maudlin of the Well. What drew me to the album most was the beautiful and transcendental ecstasy it produced; the apathetic and enrapturing embrace of the psychedelic electracousitca. Some just wonderfully celestial sound waves soothe my senses on Bath. Not amid, but astride the metal there is much beauty and solace.

But not only are the psychedelic passages so sensually beckoning, but the too brief classical and jazz gestures seduce me as well. I fear the trumpet, cello, and flute are underplayed here. I admit, it seems like I just want these maudlin albums just to be more Kayo Dot albums, and it's true that this is a completely different band. Just because the Driver mastermind is plotting the course doesn't mean it should be the same as his future projects. Even though I wish they were. Because I love Kayo Dot so much. Regardless of my expectations and musical desires, by that I mean I'm speaking more objectively, the classical and jazz excursions are very undeveloped.

But I can't really criticize the metal and pop (to replace the term of emo) despite being in a vein I'm not particularly affiliated or familiar with, it is well constructed and very good music. Extremely clean playing and a bit of brutal singing mark it a perfect album for a metal fan who wouldn't mind being removed from earth. Despite a metal fan being something I certainly am not, I really enjoy this album overall, and facilitate Toby Driver for a wonderful work. I will not hide the fact that I, by a very large margin, admire Kayo Dot, Tartar Lamb, and what I've heard of his solo efforts more. Avant-garde tricks, ambient elements, and minimalistic approach aren't here at all, and the jazz and classical nods are still extremely subtle. I wouldn't doubt this would make a decent introduction for a metal fan to the world of avant-garde music, or the rest of Driver's music.

Bath is a perfectly good album, but strictly by personal taste, nothing more.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |

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