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Maudlin Of The Well - Bath CD (album) cover


Maudlin Of The Well


Experimental/Post Metal

4.18 | 282 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars 10/10

"Bath" is a dazzlingly varied album, a breathtaking, one hour demon that like no other album can make you feel every kind of emotion.

Maudlin Of The Well released in 2001 two albums, which are considered twin albums, Bath and Leaving Your Body Map. With these two albums, motw establish themselves as one of the most interesting bands out there today. The first one that got released was "Bath", the masterpiece of Toby Driver's first period, and possibly the quintessential motw album. The band has reached definite maturity with this album, and it surely will go down in music history as one of the best Avant-Garde/Experimental Metal albums ever.

Like in the first album, the first thing you notice when you listen to a motw album is how incredibly eclectic the band is: one song can be a nice, beautiful piece, while another can be a brutal death metal tune, another one can be a schizophrenic ballad full of tension and creepy moods. Well, with "Bath", this kind of eclecticism is more developed and perfected. Not only that, but also the production and the sound is very clear, unlike the rough debut. As a consequence for the eclecticism, the band has to have many band members: Of course we have Toby Driver, with his beautiful warm voice that can immediately turn into ferocious growling, as well as his beautiful and clean sounding guitar, but let's not forget Sam Gutternam's at times jazz influence at times powerful and death metal influenced drumming, Maria Stella Fountoulakis' breathtaking voice, that always gives a nice and warm touch to the song, and also the horn section that sometimes pops out.

"Bath" almost feels like a journey to the weirdest place, a place where anything could happen. These ten tracks are perfectly positioned into the album, it almost feels like there's a secret concept behind it. The first track, and possibly one of the best openers ever, is "The Blue Ghost/ Shedding Qliphoth", a stunning piece of music that never stops moving me. A gorgeous jazzy piece, instrumental, with some great harmonics in the beginning, and in the middle of the song comes in a great hook played with different guitars. The end get's more animated, the guitars are more crunchy,and the second song starts immediately."They Aren't All Beautiful" is a pure, death metal piece. The exact opposite of it's previous; Fast, ferocious, with heavy distorted guitars and powerful growls, and very frequent time changes during the song, making it 100% progressive. There is a middle part where it cools down a bit, when a clean guitar sound plays alternated with the heavy one. Great song, possibly their most brutal one. "Heaven And Weak" is basically seven minutes of unbelievable, increasing climax: starting very calmly, with the presence of the cello and other acoustic instruments, and then Driver comes in, as well as the drums. After a couple of minutes the distortion comes in, and the song get's definitely heavy. Strong powerful drumming and guitars, and the bass as well, enrich the song, and define it a masterpiece of the band.Probably the best builder the band has ever created. After the brief interlude, "The Ferryman" comes in with a strange scary intro played exclusively with an organ. Then, silence. A few drops, and then a soft melody played with guitar comes in, with drums as well. The heavy part starts unexpectedly, with some powerful growls and strong guitars. The song then gets a weirder atmosphere and the female vocalist gives a really nice and desperate sounding touch to the track. Amazing. The lyrics are all in latin, which makes he song even more interesting."Marid's Gift Of Art" is a beautiful little song, with Driver's clean vocals sounding so delicate and gentle. For almost all the song we can hear in the background some water drops falling. "Girl With A Watering Can" is a very unique song, it is an excellent opener to the following song, especially for it's kind of apocalyptic moods. The song is initially calm, with clean guitar and the female vocals, then Driver comes in, an it builds getting a little heavier, but it never explodes, since we never hear any growls in this song. Beautiful and haunting piece of music. "Birth Pains For Astral Projection" is possibly the best motw song ever. Ten glorious minutes of beauty, rage, anger, fear. The first three minutes are very soft, with some stunning guitar notes and great relaxing atmosphere. After a while, a creepy sounding riff played with a clean guitar come in, and the song starts. Mysterious, and scary, we hear Driver's growls sounding more terrifying than ever. After a while, after all that brutal and emotional part, comes in a nice spacey mood until the end of the track. Epic like no other motw song. after the second interlude, we have the final chapter, "Geography", a pretty nice and moving song, with some distorted guitars only at the end of the song, while the rest is, like I said,very enjoyable.

"Bath" has left me a huge impression. It changed me, the way I think about metal music most of all. An almost dazzlingly varied album, that makes it win the label of Avant-Garde Metal. A breathtaking, one hour demon that like no other album can make you feel every kind of emotion. Essential for any Avant-Garde fan.

EatThatPhonebook | 5/5 |


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