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Maudlin Of The Well - Bath CD (album) cover

BATH

Maudlin Of The Well

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.17 | 214 ratings

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progkidjoel
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Maudlin Of The Well - BATH

Review by ProgKidJoel

My third maudlin of the Well album came in the form of bath - A perfect opera of metal and jazzy chord progressions, which leaves a lasting impression for weeks after the first listen. Toby Driver and the gang really hit the mark on this one, and when listened to in conjunction with its partner album, LEAVING YOUR BODY MAP, you can be taken on a one of a kind avant-garde musical journey. This album is definitely not beginner's material however, and took me several weeks to begin to appreciate.

The opener, THE BLUE GHOST - SHEDDING THE QLIPHOTH, opens with around 3 minutes of soft guitar playing, continuing into horn playing with some more soft guitar chords. This track continues in a similar fashion until it explodes into a prog-metal wonder in its last minute. Interesting chords and rhythms mark this opener's end, with unpredictable tones and riffs.

THEY AREN'T ALL BEAUTIFUL explodes with distorted guitar strumming and explodes into insanely brutal metal, complete with growls and double kicks. This track continues in a metal fashion for its entire length, and this track proves this album is certainly not for beginners. This track continues with several riff changes throughout its lifespan, and is an interesting follow up to the jazzy and acoustic BLUE GHOST.

HEAVEN AND WEAK is one of the best tracks on the albums - TOBY DRIVER's signature vocals play perfectly over a soft and understated drum beat and riff, creating a concept within its less than 8 minute length, which is a deeper concept than some bands can develop across an entire album. This is a beautiful track, featuring some great vocals and guitar work, worthy of prog giants. This track features some lovely overlapping synth and acoustic guitar, with muffled vocals for some sections. The rhythms in this track are jazzy, yet confusing and unpredictable. At around 3 minutes, this track bursts into a avant-garde metal fest, which is incredibly interesting, as both rhythms overlap eachother, in and out of perfect sync. The last 1 and a half minutes of this track are amazing, featuring brilliant drumming and complex rhythms which still purvey a story and never resort to technical overture.

INTERLUDE 1 is a short and beautiful track, featuring fantastic guitar work. This lasts for around 1.30 minutes, and there isn't much to be said about it...

THE FERRYMAN opens with haunting organs, which continue until around 50 seconds in. At this point, incredibly soft yet technical jazz-prog takes over, featuring lovely guitar work on both fronts. Unpredictably, this track detonates into an incendiary tech-metal masterpiece, featuring masterful rhythmic sections underlaying guitar work worthy of early DREAM THEATER. This continues for several minutes, until an insane organ solo overlaps the unpredictable madness. This once again continues until the last minute, which is insanely creepy voices and water noises which make my hair stand... Literally.

MARID'S GIFT OF ART is a much shorter track than the others, but excellent none-the-less. Featuring soft guitar work which sounds alot like the INTERLUDE tracks, this opens with vocals around 1 minute in. This soft singing perfectly compliments the great soft guitar work, and its incredible how well these two separate instrumentations play off eachother. This track then dies out with soft guitar work and lovely horn work, which transpose eachother in a way in which it seems motW have truly mastered.

GIRL WITH A WATERING CAN opens with soft clarinet playing, which eventuates into a jazzy masterpiece beyond belief.... This track also features the fantastic vocals of Maria-Stella Fountoulakis, which go fantastically with this great soft track. At around half way, this also breaks into a metal extravaganza, although it is much slower and comparatively softer than the rest of Maudlin Of The Well's metal tracks. The last two minutes of this track are filled with masterful guitar soloing, and later keyboard riffing. This is another great track in the motW catalogue.

BIRTH PAINS OF ASTRAL PROJECTION is perhaps the most song-based track on the album, but its brilliant regardless. At around 2 minutes in, this breaks into more extreme metal with screams and growls, highly reminiscent of OPETH. Then, at six minutes, we see a marked change in Maudlin of The Well's playing. This breaks into an insanely perfect song-based composition, with great vocals and a memorable riff. This track is hard to describe, and although it fits in perfectly, it stands out on the album due to its different compositional qualities. This track also features TOBY DRIVER's best guitar solo, which is absolutely epic. One of the best guitar solos I've ever heard, this marks a step-up in motW's straight up rock compositional skills, which is more than warmly welcomed.

INTERLUDE 2 is another bitter-sweet short track, this time featuring a more entertaining acoustic bass riff than the other soft guitar work on INTERLUDE 1. Still very little to say, although this does lead perfectly into my favourite Maudlin Of The Well track...

GEOGRAPHY is a genuiinely perfect track, featuring beautiful guitar and perfect vocals. This song follows in suit, and takes a more song-based writing structure. The lyrics in this track are beautiful; BREATH IS REAL, ANGER'S REAL, SLEEP ON YOUR BIRTHDAY AND CRY... CRY MY BABY... LET ME WASH YOU, I HAVE NO EARS... FOR MY LADY. This track follows its first chorus into the second verse, gaining momentum and melancholic beauty through its slow and tense build-up. This track features excellent guitar work, which is amongst the best Maudlin have ever released. The last two choruses are amazing - This first featuring lovely slide guitar work over the top of the vocals and simple rhtyhm. The last features a very heavy feel, and is perhaps motW's most emotional use of metal to date. The vocals here are perfect, and its hard to find an album closer of this quality with most bands. A perfect finish to a perfect album!

This album is definitely worth a purchase, if you can find it... An avant-garde masterpiece.

-Joel

progkidjoel | 5/5 |

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