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Maudlin Of The Well - Leaving Your Body Map CD (album) cover

LEAVING YOUR BODY MAP

Maudlin Of The Well

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.19 | 237 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What an incredible album. It totally exceeded my expectations after the near-masterpiece Bath. Maudlin of the Well's final studio album would mix the two styles that they play even more together, and it would also prove to be their best album in my opinion. Toby Driver and his gang of cohorts really are able to flow seamlessly from death metal to space rock within a matter of seconds, and they are really really good at creating exciting music in both fields. The metal here is well composed, well played, everything about it is played well. The acoustic sections are gentle, somber, and heartwrenching all at the same time. This album is probably one of the best progressive metal albums I've ever heard, and I think it'll be hard to top this one. As Bryan said in his review of this album, why is this band not more recognized?

As with the preceding album Bath, this album begins with gentle guitars and a very mellow atmosphere thanks to the horns. But it all fades quickly as some death metal vocals enter the mix, giving the first song, Stones of October Sobbing, a more hectic and uneasy atmosphere. It never gets crushingly heavy and the song takes many twists and turns that are very well performed by everyone in the group. Gleam in Ranks is a jazzier piece, with frantic piano and interesting guitar work, the growling vocal is absent and replaced by some fragile vocals from Driver. It has a similar feeling musically in parts to They Aren't All Beautiful off of Bath. Bizarre Flowers/A Violent Mist is a high energy song thanks to the drumming of Sam Gutterman. It begins majestically with some tubular bells in the background underneath the heavy riffing. Towards the middle of the song, death metal screams and riffing come into the mix underneath this strange keyboard sound that feels out of place but works well with what is being played. The lead guitar on this song is also great, giving some interesting solos. It's the longest piece on the album and among the best.

Interlude 3 is a gentle acoustic piece in the vein of the other Interlude pieces on Bath. The horns are very prominent here and the acoustic guitar motif is very well played. It's a very beautiful piece and it can make one wonder how a death metal band can create such pretty acoustic music. The violin line is also hauntingly beautiful when it swirls with the horns to create a main theme. All in all, I love this side of the group, it really offers a nice counterpoint to the maelstrom of metal riffs. A Curve That to an Turn'd is a crushing metal piece that begins with some clean guitar chords and some forboding instrumentation along side it. It soons becomes a crushing dissonant riff with some high pitched harmonics and some heavy growls. The rest of the song has a feel of doom metal and it doesn't really evolve, but it doesn't need to be to be a great song. Sleep is a Curse is another gentle acoustic piece, with a pretty vocal performance from Driver. It's the closest thing the group has done to a ballad and it really can bring a tear to someone's eye, especially during the acoustic guitar solo in which the guitar and violin swirl together to create a beautiful atmosphere.

Riseth He, The Numberless is a two part piece of avant-garde metal. Crushing riffs and soft interludes give this song a bit of an Opeth feel, but they never actually sound like Opeth. The first part begins with trumpets and some anxious keyboards as well as some dynamic drumming. It becomes a crushing metal piece with brutal riffs and unforgiving vocals. Drums introduce the second part, that takes a similar path except for the oriental introduction. Interlude 4 is another acoustic instrumental that feels mich like Interlude 3, and still retains the same beauty and atmosphere as it as well. Monstrously Low Tide begins with menacing riffs and vocals, but towards the ends is a modulated guitar outro that has a strong post-rock feeling. It also gives a hint to the future sound of Maudlin of the Well, who would become Kayo Dot for their next effort, Choirs of the Eye.

In the end, Maudlin of the Well's final studio album proves to be my favorite and I cannot really find any faults with it. It's a perfect blend of metal and acoustic. The musicianship is killer, the songwriting is killer, everything about this album is top notch. If you are a fan of progressive metal, do yourself a favor and get this album. If you are a fan of softer acoustic music, you will also find something to like about this album in the Interludes and Sleep is a Curse. One of my favorite progressive metal album ever. 5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 5/5 |

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