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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 | 540 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Maudlin of the Well were in a unique position recording this album, and the result is music that has something uniquely special about it.

For one, the band had not been active for some time. For the other, this band was fully funded by fans, and they had no record company telling them what they should do with their music. To my understanding, they haven't even tried to get it recognised by any label. And they released it for free, so there were no real financial concerns anywhere. They had the money to make it, and that was enough. (They do, of course, accept donations, and I would recommend you do so if able.)

I downloaded this album because it was free, and people were talking about it. Post Metal is not a genre I am really familiar with, but it's hard to argue with free music, especially free music that has a buzz.

The first few listens through, I was pretty solidly impressed. This is some excellent music here, with great contrast, vocals, playing, sounds, etc...pretty much, everything about this album is excellent. And, to top things off, it's excellent without having any obvious influences (at least to me ... but as I said, I am no master of this genre). This truly sounds like original, creative music where the band was able to give it their most.

And, as a prog rock fan, how can you not love an album with song names such as "Laboratories of the Invisible World (Rollerskating the Cosmic Palmistric Postborder)"?

Knowing that I intended to write a review about this piece of magic, I decided to give it a few more spins. Despite the fact that I have heard this album many times, the music is so complex that I have a hard time re-imagining it in my mind, other than small chunks.

Re-listening has made even more clear to me how great this music is. It is just so well crafted, and it affects your emotions profoundly.

It opens sounding somewhat upbeat with Revisitation of the Blue Ghost (not typing the full name), although it quickly turns more moody and dark. This works quite well, and the low, harsh vocals really work well with the music. The song is essentially three parts: The opening, the vocal part, and the closing. Of these three, I get the least emotion from the third part, but I still find this track quite excellent.

Another Excerpt is also great, although not quite as excellent as the track that precedes it, and I can rarely recall any moments from it when I am not listening to it.

Rose Quartz Turning to Glass, the third track, may be the most emotionally involving. The opening violin parts can nearly bring me to tears before the songs introduces the other instruments, and from there, I always feel as if my emotions have been changed from sorrow over something that happened, to anger over my inability to do anything about it. All this without a single word being spoken ... that is a sign of fantastic songwriting. It then moves into a bit more of a strange part, with bizarre vocals, and while this does not flow quite as well with the emotions I've built up so far, it still sounds excellent, and has me feeling a little lost, as if I'm in a world I could not imagine beforehand. Overall, I would rank this as my favorite track on the album.

Clover Garland Island is another nice track, although like Another Excerpt, I can rarely remember specific moments from it when it is not playing, and I would argue that it is the weakest track on the album.

The album ends with the stunning "Laboratories..." mentioned above, and yes, the song does live up to it's awesome name. It is replete with interesting movements and sounds, and is perhaps even more of a journey than the first track. The vocals that are used in this album are among my favorite in the album. This piece is more guitar oriented, but it works quite well. Definitely an amazing track.

So where does that place this? On the one hand, I'm fairly certain that this album could easily be considered a masterpiece, and one of the most creative and least commercial pieces of music to come out in a long time. For sure, the band really stretched themselves out and did some amazing things with this album.

On the other hand, I rarely feel the urge to listen to this album, and there are a couple moments that just refuse to stick in my brain. Most albums I would rate 5 stars are albums that I can't help but keep coming back to, time and again. For, creativity is not the only sign of a masterpiece ... you should want to hear a masterpiece.

And yet, listening to it now, I am wondering why I don't want to listen to this album more. As well, I am constantly discovering new things about this album, and I really do appreciate that about it ... that after over 20 listens, it can still sound fresh and new.

So, what are you waiting for? Music this great is almost never free. (I've checked the prices of Maudlin's previous albums on ebay ... and that is more true than I would like it to be). We have been given a gift by an amazing band, and it would be foolish not to take advantage of it.

Only gripe: It sure would be great to be able to buy a hard copy of this album. But mp3s are good too.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |

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