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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 | 530 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars I've been completely surprised by the reactions that this album has received here on Prog Archives. Every time I see a new 5 star review depicting this album as a masterpiece I make it my mission to give this recording another chance so at least one can hardly blame me for not giving it an honest shot.

Part The Second is my first venture into Maudlin Of The Well's music, but since I've heard the two first Kayo Dot releases I can't say that I'm a complete rookie when it come to Toby Driver and his music creations. In order to put this type of compositions into perspective I tend to compare it with similar artists and here Kayo Dot seems to be the main contender for that title. This is also what my main concern with this release since I just don't see any of those prominent highlights that Kayo Dot's debut had to offer. Nothing on Part The Second makes me all that excited and to be honest the last few revisits have given me very little reason to change that opinion.

An Excerpt From 6,000,000,000,000 Miles Before The First, Or, The Revisitation Of The Blue Ghost is a nice opening track with some dreamy soundscapes that often hit the spot but I would most definitely pick my two favorite pieces off Choirs Of The Eye any day over it. This track is also the only composition here that feels completely original and doesn't remind me of any other artist's work. After this piece of music comes the composition titled Another Excerpt: Keep Light Near You, Even When Dying which starts a bit like something from Radiohead's Kid A/Amnesiac albums with underlying melody reminding me of those early King Crimson epics. Things get even weirder towards the end section which sound even more Crimsonesque which is all good but hardly innovating or exciting.

A nice violin melody commences Rose Quartz Turning To Glass and it keeps going for almost 5 straight minutes. After that comes a David Gilmour sounding vocal section which literally appears out of nowhere and just ruins the whole track since it now feels like the violin interplay section was just a drawn out intro. The transition between the two sections could definitely have been a whole lot smoother.

Clover Garland Island has a slightly irritating intro but it does take a turn for the better and we are treated to another nice performance. The vocal section towards the end reminds me slightly of those gentle melodic parts from Gentle Giant material sung by Kerry Minnear.

Although I realize that many consider Laboratories Of The Invisible World to be the highlight of the album the music embedded into these 12 minutes leaves me completely cold. It starts with a mellow intro which then goes into an Anekdoten-sounding middle section (just listen to A Time Of Day and tell me that you don't see the connection) and later transforms into a long spacey outro segment. The whole piece just seems completely directionless and in this case looses all credibility in my ears.

There is definitely no lack of talent here especially since Toby Driver have done some amazing work with Kayo Dot in the past but here it all sound uninspired and emotionless. Still I can't point out anything particularly wrong with the music itself so I definitely won't go below the good, but non-essential rating here.

**** star songs: An Excerpt From 6,000,000,000,000 Miles Before The First, Or, The Revisitation Of The Blue Ghost (10:55) Another Excerpt: Keep Light Near You, Even When Dying (5:59) Clover Garland Island (8:18)

*** star songs: Rose Quartz Turning To Glass (7:30) Laboratories Of The Invisible World (Rollerskating The Cosmic Palmistric Postborder) (11:50)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |

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