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Maudlin Of The Well - Secret Song CD (album) cover

SECRET SONG

Maudlin Of The Well

Experimental/Post Metal


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Trickster F.
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The key to revealing the secret that lies behind Bath/Leaving Your Body Map...

Secret Song was a single released by the group themselves as a mini-CD, which they would give away at their concerts as a sample before they, unfotunately, broke up. It is a rarety to find this now, however, for our own good it is not one of the two bonus tracks on Leaving Your Body Map. This track was written by Toby Driver, maudlin of the Well's main songwriter and was supposedly played by the same line-up that recorded Bath/Leaving Your Body Map. It was also later stated that this song is the key to finding out the message of the two companion albums. Although I tried to "solve the mystery", pehaps with less effort that I wanted to, the message of the two albums seems uncertain to me even after hearing this Secret Song.

If it really does unlock a certain secret either musically or lyrically(or perhaps both), I can say that I definitely see why it is connected to maudlin of the Well's last two releases. The sound is very similar to the sound of Bath/Leaving Your Body Map, at times even sounding like it is borrowed from some of the tracks, but mostly contains some interesting details that seemed refreshing and new to me. This track starts as a spacey post-rock composition and doesn't last like that for more than twenty seconds - it quickly steps into the extreme side of the music motW's fans adore so much, with Byron's trademark growl, doomy drumming and a strong melodic line. The main riff of the track kicks in later, supported by whispering vocals and then more screams. The transition between the contraries, just like always, is done extremely well in motW's music, thus putting them above the rest of the Progressive Metal world. The song after the riff is most enjoyable and pleasing. It is a mixture of space rock and post-rock with acoustic guitars and Jason Bitner's trumpet work present. It creates a laid-back, cool atmosphere that is comforting in a way. Once it calms down for what seems to be an outro, things turn out completely differently and we are awarded with the return of the main riff, played furiously. That's where the track ends. What I always liked about maudlin of the Well's music is that it is always unpredictable without being too nonsensical or chaotic. These characterics would make it logical that this track would appear on either Bath or Leaving Your Body Map, however, it somehow didn't "fit", so it was seperate all the way. We do not know which musicians were involved in the recording process, however, it seems obvious that it was the B/LYBM line-up.

Secret Song should not be avoided or ignored by any fan of maudlin of the Well's music. It is truly unfortunate that a group as excellent as this only graced us with about three hours worth of listening material in their short career and would be a mistake to miss even this less than seven minute long gem. I will also add that this track can be used as a sample for people interested in getting into the group's music, as it represents their aesthetics rather well, although doesn't capture its diverse, immensely vast sound.

Report this review (#77042)
Posted Wednesday, May 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Secret Song' - Maudlin Of The Well (Single)

Although only being a single song, 'Secret Song' definately covers a wide range of timbres, emotions, and textural sensibilities.

Being only a casual fan of Maudlin Of The Well (at the time of writing this; I'm sure that will change as soon as I find a copy of one of their albums) this song really makes me want to explore their music more. It starts out very spacy with acoustic guitar textures to lure the listener into a false sense of security, before exploding into a very noisy, yet organized metal array... The brilliance of Toby Driver's orchestration is that even despite the incredibly dense soundscape, one can still make out strong melodic undertones flowing just beneath the surface.

Towards the end of the song, the jazz influence comes in with some instrumentation trademark of the genre. After listening to a very heavy section, the jazz section comes as a beautiful contrast. That paired with a flowing clean guitar solo to top things off, makes for a very enjoyable, yet at times challenging musical experience.

I've listened to the song several times so far, and each time I find something new in it. Very good representation of the band's genius and work.

Report this review (#223676)
Posted Sunday, June 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
progkidjoel
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Maudlin Of The Well - Secret Song

Review by ProgKidJoel

Although only a single track, SECRET SONG should be taken seriously - Its a lovely track, which genuinely deserved to be released on its own. Transversing several beautiful riffs and sub-genres within its 7 minute length, this beautiful journey is an essential piece in the MAUDLIN OF THE WELL discography.

Opening with lovely acoustic guitar, this track eventuates into a great avant-garde metal track, featuring a catchy riff and true musicianship. This track is a true testament to MAUDLIN OF THE WELL's brilliance, and its hard to see why this was left off their full albums...

Eventually, we find a riff unlike those from TOOL, also featuring whispers similar to TOOL. This track feels incredibly grounded, yet chaotic and loose at the same time. With around 3 minutes left, soft trumpets play over softer guitars, which sound lovely in conjunction and are really a site for any space rock lover to behold. Continuing in a soft and comforting manner, SECRET SONG eventually closes in the same manner in which it started.

Another goody from Toby and the guys, this is a lovely track.

A fantastic, and necessary addition to the collection of any motW fan.

Enjoy, and pick it up when/if you can!

-Joel

Report this review (#241278)
Posted Friday, September 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Secret Song" is a single that was released on mini-CD in 2001. The song was released with a hidden message, said to contain the link between the two albums "Bath" and "Leaving Your Body Map".

The music is very much like a mixture of the music on "Bath" and "Leaving Your Body Map". There is however a certain ambience that is not present on either of the albums. The opening guitar line is a variation of the opening motif on "Bath", which gives the track a sense of familiarity. The song then moves to their signature doom metal sound, and later shifts to a slower, more jazzy feel. The song has a little more direction than most of the repertoire on "Bath" and "Leaving Your Body Map", which unfortunately removes the sense of spontaneity that is present in the two albums.

The lyrics to "Secret Song" are a puzzle which is said to explain and link the two albums "Bath" and "Leaving Your Body Map". The story of the two albums is rather shrouded, which is explained by the fact that the concept behind them was based upon Toby Driver's experiences in astral projection, a form of meditation that I engage in regularly. I have spent time researching the meaning behind the lyrics of this song, but like many other fans of maudlin of the Well, I have not been completely successful.

The lyrics of the song are: Oraios, Topio, Petra, Ypnos I saw the branches of a tree Falling on these planets Binah, Geburah, Hod, Yesod I read into these four songs The numbers of the lines In a magical language And wrote the first words And this is a great secret.

The first set of words is in Greek: Beautiful, Landscape, Stone, Sleep. These words all relate to the titles of maudlin of the Well songs. Beautiful = "They Aren't All Beautiful", Landscape "Geography", Stone = "Stones of October's Sobbing", Sleep = "Sleep is a Curse" . The second set of words, Binah, Geburah, Hod, Yesod, originate from the Kabbalah Tree of Death, named the Qliphoth.

I do not fully understand the lyrics to this song, but I do believe that the song implies that the astral realms that the maudlin of the Well mastermind Toby Driver visits, are haunted by evil/negative deities.

This single is a great collector's item for progressive rock fans, and should be part of any maudlin of the Well collection. 3.5 stars. ☮ Peace ☮

Report this review (#914633)
Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 | Review Permalink

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