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Maudlin Of The Well - Bath CD (album) cover


Maudlin Of The Well


Experimental/Post Metal

4.18 | 346 ratings

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4 stars Wow, what to say about this great album? Well, it's certainly not for the casual listener. MotW combine such a wide array of diverse musical styles from folk, symphonic and acoustic rock to extreme death and black metal that it makes their records a challenging listen to say the least. A first time listener, even one well versed in avant garde music will likely think 'What is this? What is going on here?' At times the music seems to jump around unexpectedly and without logic or reason. A song might be coasting along in a pleasant ambient fashion, then suddenly break out into dissonant, aharmonic thrash metal. A third or fourth-time listener of this album will likely come to appreciate this album's avant garde charm and eventually its immense beauty.

The first track starts out with some soft guitar harmonies echoing gently, and slowly other instruments and soft vocals begin to enter the song. It progresses much like a post-rock song that builds and dies away, then explodes again. The second track proves it's title "They Aren't all Beautiful" as it jumps immediately into thrashy death metal. This song, while grating on the ears at first, progresses into a true work of art as the song breaks down, and the vocalist's tortured screams echo in the background, the song moves through several quirky breakdowns and even an oddly-placed saxophone solo!

"Heaven and the Weak" is my favorite track on the record, and arguably the best. It starts out with softly plucked strings in the beginning, and later resembles Novembre as the metal guitars enter. Not to be outdone, there is a nasty thrash metal interlude before the song returns to a recognizable form. The guitar harmonics at the 6 minute mark really do it for me.

The album continues in this fashion through two soft interludes, the huge doom-metal organs in the beginning of "The Ferryman", another melodic post-rock type progression and clarinet solo in "Girl with a Watering Can", and the unpredictable changes of "Birth Pains of Astral Projection", which sounds like soft rock, death metal and jazz all at once. The album concludes peacefully with the melodic and thickly layered "Geography" which serves as a sort of beautiful sunset at the end of a very long and very very strange journey.

This album is HIGHLY recommended for all fans of avant-garde music and progressive metal. It's certainly a hard pill to swallow, but so is most good prog rock. It is certainyl not a 5 star record, and it takes a special kind of ear to really appreciate it. I give it about 3.75ish stars, so in the spirit of avant-music, let's just round to 4. Be warned, however, it is NOT for everyone.

GoldenSpiral | 4/5 |


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