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Maudlin Of The Well - Part the Second CD (album) cover

PART THE SECOND

Maudlin Of The Well

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.21 | 538 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Maudlin of the Well returns to the musical scene with a magnificent 2009 album - "Part the Second" is an amazing journey of atmospheres, textures and harmonic developments that undeniably deserves all the good praise that it has been gathering so far. Some reviewers and musical press experts have pointed out the parallel between this album and Kayo Dot's 2008 release, and it certainly makes a good point of reference for any listener to first approach "Part the Second". The 'Excerpt from 6,000,000,000,000 Miles' track opens up the album with a warm feel fluidly conveyed by a softly playful intro, which eventually leads to a languid sung section elaborated on a post-rock mode. The eerie string ornaments and the acoustic guitar solo emphasize the intimate mood in an efficient fashion, somehow creating a sort of sonic counterpoint to the moderately raw undertones of Driver's whispering vocals. When arriving at the 5 minute mark, the track gradually shifts toward a more extroverted passage through a well-sustained crescendo. The resulting momentary climax is really short, so it doesn't take long before we are treated with a refurbishment of the main body, filled with the sort of ethereal psychedelia that usually makes the best of your typical indie rock. The track ends in a solid momentum. The 'Another Excerpt' track starts with a lovely marriage of musical box-like synth, string ensemble and sax, before the drum kit settles in and drives the whole instrumentation to a majestic mixture of soft jazz-rock and chamber ambiences. The stage is set for a guitar solo to shine in an immaculate demonstration of intense musicality where technical proficiency and emotionality become one single source. Right before the 3'30" mark, a dramatic shift of syncopation paves the way for two alternating motifs signaled by the use of constrained energy. This fluid succession ultimately leads to a coda that portrays mysticism and melancholy. 'Rose Quartz Turning to Glass' sounds like a combination of melodic chamber-rock and fusion, wisely exploiting the friendliest side of avant-prog. Even though she is credited just as a guest, Mia Matsumiya's violin takes center stage quite prodigally whenever she appears to augment the recurring quintet. To be more specific about this particular subject, her violin solo is a solid conjuration of distant memories amidst autumnal trees. The final sung portion transforms the overall mood into a lighter feeling, which gives room for the band's rocking side to make a vibrant statement, not overtly complex but indeed full of progressive distinction. 'Clover Garland Island' is mostly focused on retaining the preceding track's momentum, although it may not seem that obvious at first since, right from the start, it flaunts its rougher edges with ceremonious bangs. Anyway, the main body is set on a psychedelic mood that displays some sort of agile rhythmic schemes before a transition occurs into an introspective section featuring Spartan guitar chords and ethereal string arrangements. The drum kit's intrusion spices up things a bit for a few moments, but this final motif's core is basically introspective and nostalgic. 'Laboratories of the Invisible World' occupies the last 11+ minutes of the album. It starts with sparse guitar phrases, which indeed announce an exhibition of powerful sonorities, firstly articulated within a slow framework, then transported on a realm of complex syncopations and signature shifts. The density feeds the tense bombast in order to make it portray a sort of mystic anger, spacey and robust at the same time. The coda emerges on a slow tempo that quite easily reminds us of some tune that Mogwai or Tortoise might write as part of a David Lynch's movie ST. but of course, this is MOTW doing, and the peculiar sense of twisted exquisiteness shows it unabashedly. The lovely piano passages that closes down this highlight track and the album is a perfect closure for such a listening experience.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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