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

PART THE SECOND

Maudlin Of The Well

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.23 | 538 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

LiquidEternity
Prog Reviewer
5 stars A masterpiece totally out of the normal area of what I would consider a masterpiece.

You are probably seeing a whole lot said about this release, much of it overwhelmingly positive. Part of this is due to the elite nature of the band, as their first three releases are impossible to get ahold of yet very much sought after, in a way something like Anglagard. So there is some overreaction in the rating. Some people seriously dislike it on account of the absolutely bizarre and abnormal nature of the music. Fair enough. But when it comes to me, it is probably the best example I've ever run across of a band making beautiful music in a perfect abstract and unique way. This is especially strange that I enjoy it so much because I (I'm not perfect, okay?) am often quite turned off by ridiculous song titles, especially really long ones. Here it doesn't matter.

This is not a metal release. They've growled before, I understand it, but this is a ride through beauty, not through pain. It's almost just remembering the happy moments. This is especially obvious in the first track (which I'm not going to write out all of). The song begins slowly and with some gentle, down to earth vocals. The latter half is built around absolutely gorgeous piano and almost Pat Metheny-esque soaring guitar lines. The second track (not going to name it either) begins almost like a lullabye, but soothing strings enter eventually and push this track forward as the rhythms and guitars get heavier and more dangerous. It suddenly changes about halfway through and begins being so eclectic and eccentric that you can't but love it. Who doesn't love some clever handclaps? Haunting vocals lines permeate the song underneath the rest of the instrumentation, but once you notice it, it adds that much more impact and power to the track.

Rose Quartz Turning to Glass begins as well with strings, but soon piano enters and changes the nature of the music. The most important piece of this music is the percussion, using the first three minutes almost as a solo section (it doesn't get oppressive or obnoxious, don't worry). The music backs out to strings before closing for the last couple minutes with vocals and guitars. The vocals are pretty sparse throughout the entire album, but here they are likewise very understated and fit the song quite well. Clover Garland Island starts heavy and chaotic, but spends much of the time being smooth and upbeat. A solid guitar solo occurs early on, segueing the song into more of maudlin of the Well's brilliantly utilized strings. A wonderful clean guitar riff also makes an appearance, and the song closes out on a strong but gentle note, again almost reminiscent of Pat Metheny. The final track starts quiet but on the whole is the least so. It is very complex and at times touching on avant-garde, but if you can enjoy the first four you'll enjoy this too, especially if you've been hoping for a bit more metal in the album. And it all ends on a wonderful note.

In short, this is an album I was curious about but not really expecting to enjoy very much. Nevertheless, my mind has been blown, and I have to join my voice to the others on this site and say, "Yeah, give this album a shot." I mean, it's free anyways (at the time of writing this review), and there are probably a lot of people on this site that would fall in love with it despite really expecting not to, just like me.

LiquidEternity | 5/5 |

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