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Maudlin Of The Well - Bath CD (album) cover


Maudlin Of The Well


Experimental/Post Metal

4.19 | 340 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Perhaps it'd be inappropriate for me to start my first review as a 5 star rating, but I'd like to begin my reviews on a high note, maybe the highest note of them all. This was one of the first "avant garde metal" albums I've ever properly absorbed, and I'm glad it was.

maudlin of the Well isn't metal, not all the time. It certainly isn't any genre whatsoever, and it achieves this strange status of "unidentifiability" pretty much perfectly. This is sound refined to an artistic limit, audio that has been almost spiritually tuned to the perfect frequency to etch its soul into your own for the rest of eternity. It really is that good.

Now if we were to boil down "Bath" to its fundamentals, this is artful gothic jazz death metal with a little flavoring from just about everything. From superb brass, terrifying cathedral organs, and even soothing bathtub sounds, just about everything is used as an instrument, which makes me wonder what a live show would've looked like.

"Bath" is the Sistine Chapel ceiling of this genre, deep, nuanced, and a testament to the entire art form its associated with (in this case, music). You may try to sit down and absorb it all at once, but all that ends up doing is stealing your soul and submerging you in this emotional epic of trauma, hatred, bloodshed, and innocence lost.

I speak of this album with supreme praise, but that's not without acknowledging that--yes--this is death metal. And it's as good as it is macabre. Toby Driver is always going in between soft, human vocals before grabbing you by the neck and roaring with the tongue of a demon from the depths of hell. This is beautifully countered by the feminine and demanding (yet equally sympathetic) vocals from Maria-Stella Fountoulakis.

The lyrics of "Bath" are unquestionably poetic, perhaps even snobby at points, but the consistent poeticism reminiscent of a gothic writer plays to its strengths, especially in the more heartfelt moments where the words simplify into bare emotion. "Breath is real, anger's real. Sleep on your birthday and cry... cry, my baby..."

While the violence and brutality of the heavier sections aren't gut wrenchingly extreme as seen with some of the most gratuitous and evil of metal bands, it is the delivery and context of the music that turns them into the serrated knives that carve their words into your heart, never to leave until the day you die.

"Bath" and all music under "maudlin of the Well" are art first and foremost. It is art that does not play off of technicality or skill (of which there is plenty), but it is art that plays off of the heart.

Most people who listen to this might not see the point, they might feel their soul be moved just a tiny bit, but they don't open their heart to the sound.

This is music for the emotionally awake. It won't appeal to everyone, but for those it does appeal to, like myself, it will permanently change you.

calico5588 | 5/5 |


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