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MAUDLIN OF THE WELL

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


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Maudlin Of The Well biography
Formed in 1996 in Boston, USA - Disbanded in 2003 - Regrouped in 2008

Maudlin Of The Well is an avant-garde progressive metal band from Boston, who released 3 studio albums before disbanding in 2003. motW's music combines jazz, metal, avant-garde, post-rock and eastern influences into a unique and other worldly combination. After a five year break, the band reformed to record several unreleased musical ideas and compositions, which materialized into 2009's 'Part The Second'. These recordings were made possible by donations from fans of the band's earlier work. The band can be considered a musicians collective, all albums rotating around the 3 constant constant members, Toby Driver, Jason Byron and Greg Massi. All of the band's albums feature vocals and string work from Mia Matsumiya, who would later appear in Driver's next project with much more prominent input, Kayo Dot. (For more information on the band's ever changing lineup, see the individual album entries)

The majority of the band's music and lyrics is based around astral projection. The goal of Maudlin Of The Well was never to create music, but rather to bring back pre-existing music from another plain of existence. This was done through the practices of lucid dreaming and astral projection. Whether or not the band achieved their goal, it is fair to say that they have definitely created some of the most original and other-worldly music ever.

The band's first album is a collection of demos, which was released in 1999 as 'My Fruit Psychobells... A Seed Combustible'. This record can be can be considered a compilation of earlier demos, although stands on its own as a studio recording.

The band followed up this debut with two albums which directly link into one another; 'Bath' and 'Leaving Your Body Map' were both released in 2003, and show the band at the peak of their creative powers. These two discs offer a diverse blend of prog-metal and avant-garde with jazzy interludes and other-worldly atmospheres.

In 2009, 'Part The Second' was released as a gift to fans. The album was financed by fans, so the band has made it available, free of charge, from their website. This disc is undeniably more mellow than the rest of the band's output, and stands as their most well known and appreciated recording to date. This album showcases an entirely new motW, showcasing a more orchestral sound, with very little connection to the metal sounds on their previous releases. This re...
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MAUDLIN OF THE WELL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.65 | 107 ratings
My Fruit Psychobells... A Seed Combustible
1999
4.18 | 307 ratings
Bath
2001
4.18 | 330 ratings
Leaving Your Body Map
2001
4.22 | 705 ratings
Part The Second
2009

MAUDLIN OF THE WELL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MAUDLIN OF THE WELL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MAUDLIN OF THE WELL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MAUDLIN OF THE WELL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 28 ratings
Secret Song
2001

MAUDLIN OF THE WELL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bath by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 307 ratings

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Bath
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by progtime1234567

5 stars This album is the companion album to Leaving your body map, which makes the two a double album essentially. I listened to the Leaving your body map album first even though this one is the first one, and I noticed that Leaving your body map was considerably heavier and more metallic than Bath. The saxophone and other jazz instruments combined with the long, otherworldy songs combined with the occasional death metal riff and various, diverse vocal techniques make the album sound like it wasn't even written by humans, but by aliens, hence the otherworldy style and feel of the music. Toby Driver and friends offer a large plate of diverse music styles, dynamics, instruments, vocal techniques, and rhythms that will take the listener on an out of body trip through space and time. Not only are Bath and Leaving your body map seminal experimental/avant-garde rock, metal, jazz, and sometimes ambient pieces of music, they are masterpieces of progressive rock music and even music as a whole. MAUDLIN OF THE WELL really need more exposure, because the music they create will offer an astral experience for everyone, and everything.
 Leaving Your Body Map by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 330 ratings

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Leaving Your Body Map
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by progtime1234567

5 stars I listened to this album because I wanted to hear more post metal and avant metal. I was very impressed with this album. The album mixes death metal, and acoustic passages together sort of like OPETH but it sounds nothing like OPETH. It also reminded me of MR BUNGLE but again it sounds nothing like MR BUNGLE. The instrumentation and the vocals on the album are very good and the presence of different vocal styles are always great for progressive metal albums. The softer acoustic songs paired with the faster heavier songs make this album a trip to listen to, taking the listener through different moods and trips all throughout the album. You never know whats going to come next on this record.
 Part The Second by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.22 | 705 ratings

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Part The Second
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Luqueasaur

5 stars Hard to Find Long Convoluted Names Crueler Than Part The Second's, Or, 100,000 Years of Cosmic Farewell By The Band: 10/10

Claiming to derive inspiration from the astral plane, maudlin of the Well does not compose songs, they find them. Whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

Well, you see, that phrase is useful because it prepares you, the eager and curious listener, for the adventure you're about to embark: a remarkably spiritualistic and delicate album. When we're talking about this sort of soul-ly jazz, you're supposed to expect songs that calls for emotions, reflections, awe in front of a beauty you can't describe, sehnsucht, and etc. Which is what happens with PART THE SECOND.

What is interesting is that it no longer feature the trademarked "soft 'n' heavy" transitions that made maudlin so popular. Instead, it's completely focused on rock-ish compositions, and rightfully so, as they deliver a splendidly well-constructed, melodic, and simply beautiful masterpiece that couldn't be achieved with such success had it metaller roots.

Each track flows comfortably, each riff plays in accordance with the melody, ... and so forth. And, speaking of melody (or, rather, of composition qualities in general), don't be fooled if you're thinking this is some sort of minimalist bullscheiss, 'cause it ain't; the songs are multi-layered and relatively complex. Pianos play along violins, drums, guitars and whatnot. And it all culminates in lighthearted, intense and sincerely beautiful musical creations that are apt to create smile on the frownymost faces. And, basically, that's why the effectiveness of PART THE SECOND lies on denying heavier compositions and moods - it just wouldn't be able to deliver such an introspective and surrealistic journey if you had a dude growling at your face.

Also, if you like the usage of violins or pianos to evoke emotional responses, you're in for a treat. If you don't, well, you're in nonetheless, cause Matsumiya's violins will certainly make you do. If you like free albums, surprise surprise you're in as well, because this baby is found completely for free in their site! Including, as accompaniments, the surrealistic and childish-esque artwork to assist you on your journey of immersion within maudlin of the Well's lucid dreaming farewell that is PART THE SECOND.

 Part The Second by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.22 | 705 ratings

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Part The Second
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by HarmonyDissonan

5 stars I am writing this as someone who hasn't actually heard this for a few years now but I do remember that I liked it a lot! As a matter of fact I've been on the hunt for a semi-reasonably priced copy since hearing it. After checking everywhere I knew of, I wasn't able to find a material copy of the cd for under $100 US dollars! Well if there is anyone else who has been in the same boat as I was, dive out and swim (If you can swim that is-something I personally never learned how to do.) to shore, the might shores of Amazon and race to get your own copy! I was amazed to see some on sale at an average price today, so I picked up two from two different vendors! I don't know if a label picked up the license and made some copies or if someone found some in a cellar somewhere? All I know is that there seems to be some copies available at natural prices! I just wanted to inform anyone that might be interested in this formerly rare recording. So if you have been looking for a copy, now's your chance! I'm stoked!

Take care and enjoy God's good gift of music everyone!

 Leaving Your Body Map by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 330 ratings

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Leaving Your Body Map
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by LakeGlade12

5 stars 4.5 Stars. Darker journeys into the Astral Plane

Leaving Your Body Map is the second album of a 2-part concept on the subject of Astral Projection, where the band try to find music in the Astral Plane and put it to pen and paper. The previous album Bath combined gentle Post-rock with abrasive Death metal to reflect the heavenly and hellish things that can be found on the Astral Plane.

While this album does not have any fundamental changes in direction from its predecessor, there is a notable shift to the darker end of the spectrum and more metal songs are present than before. Even the "light" songs now have a melancholy in them which was not present on Bath. Also the divide in soft and hard is not as extreme as before which makes it the album appear more coherent and easy to follow.

The overall complexity of this album is also higher compared to Bath, with some of the longer metal songs ("Stones of October's Sobbing"," A Curve That To An Angle Turn'd" and "Riseth He, The Numberless") sounding not very different from Opeth. While their Death metal is not on the same level as Opeth's one thing they do have over them is that their soft side is far more diverse and better crafted to suit the heavy sections. This is one area where they have improved from their last album, with some of the softer songs (especially the interludes) being breathtakingly beautiful.

While Bath had a few weaker songs LYBM has no sub-par track, however unfortunately nothing quite beats the levels of "Girl with a Watering Can" and "Birth Pains of Astral Projection" found in the previous album. The narrowing of the heavy and soft gap also works against them somewhat as it dilutes the signature sound of this band and risks them sounding like any other Deth metal band.

Initially I was nowhere near as impressed with this album compared to Bath as it just did not hit the same heights in music nor subject matter. however over time the subtle but very powerful parts of the album take effect and leave a lasting impression. For example the transition between "Riseth He, the Numberless" part 1 and 2 is simply distant screaming and wailing which was occurred due to demon possession (and is the scariest part of the entire album, but only once you have properly read and understood the lyrics). Also the closer "Monstrously Low Tide" is the reverse of the opener of Bath ("The blue ghost"). While the opener starts with light Post rock and finishes with metal, the closer starts with metal and finishes with pure Ambient music. All these subtle but very well thought out effects do add up and enhance my enjoyment of this album. There is very little for me to fault in LYBM and an increasingly growing number of things for me to praise. Up to 2 months ago this was a clear 4 star album for me, but the more I listen to this album the more everything seems to fit perfectly together which is why I am giving it 5 stars. Maybe in the future I might even enjoy this more than Bath? It definitely has the potential.

 Bath by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 307 ratings

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Bath
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by LakeGlade12

5 stars 4.7 Stars. Astral journeys

Bath is the second album from the Experimental metal band Maudlin of the Well, however due to the band distancing themselves from their debut (and consequently making it very hard to actually buy) this is often seen as their first main album. Bath is the first of a 2-part concept album based on Astral Projection (the mystic art of detaching your soul from your body which allows you to visit places and people that can not be seen in the normal physical universe) where the band attempt to "find" music that already exists in these astral planes.

These astral planes are where angels/heaven and demons/hell tend to dwell and this has a direct consequence on the musical style of this album. There are sections of this album which are very gentle, peaceful and have the beauty that you would expect from such heavenly people. Likewise there are some very brutal and dark part of the album which are inspired from the hell they have seen. A common criticism of this album is that the transitions between these 2 extremes is very abrupt with little or no logical transition. However as someone who does have personal experiences of the astral plane these extreme shifts are commonplace and are one of the things that make the astral plane a very dangerous place. Bath perfectly reflects this by never letting the listener get relaxed and always having to be prepared for a sudden and unexpected mood swing.

In terms of the music you will find a lot of peaceful post-rock and acoustic sections which is frequently interrupted by crunchy death and progressive metal. There are plenty of long instrumental sections which can be either very atmospheric or fast and technically challenging. The shorter tracks tend to be entirely peaceful with the exception of "They Aren't All Beautiful" which is full of screams, roars and crushing guitars (and a weird Avant-jazz freak-out in the middle). The longer songs tend to mix both styles together with "Girl With a Watering Can" and "Birth Pains of Astral Projection" being the highlights of the album. The former is a gradual transition from gentle post-rock into some very engaging Progressive Metal. The latter is probably the best musical description of the Astral Plane you can find, where the song switches from gentle to aggressive repeatably. However unlike most soft-to-hard songs out there both of these extremes work together brilliantly and feed off each other to create a very epic and complex piece, which is one of my favorite metal songs of all time.

The album is not perfect, "The Ferryman" is a bit too weird and Avant-garde for its own good and for most of the song its hard to tell what is happening. The follow up song "Marid's Gift of Art" has the opposite problem of being too simple and plain, although to be fair despite its simplicity and gentleness it has a very dark and creepy undertone due to the lyrics. But apart from the middle section of the album being relatively weaker the remainder of Bath is close to flawless. Its also one of my most-played albums due to their being so many moods and ideas to explore. Its a easy 5 stars and one of the most unique albums of the 21 st Century so far.

 Part The Second by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.22 | 705 ratings

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Part The Second
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Horizons
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars 'When I left the sea and the brine and the undulating waves, the slight glow and shock still brushed against my flesh.'

That lyric serves as a poetic outline to this work of art. Part the Second invokes beautiful imagery with its ability to set the listener in a place of elemental dominion. Whether it is the music or lyrics on this album, I can't help but see myself on an island experiencing life in a totally new way. That's the power of Part the Second, it moves you.

Maudlin of the Well somehow both embarked on a new journey with this album as well as bringing another to a close. Previously unleashing the albums Leaving the Body Map and Bath, Maudlin of the Well were artistically established and were hitting their crest. But as shown with this release and the unpredictable evolutions that Kayo Dot would go on to experience, Toby Driver likes to progress, change, and experiment. This album would mark the end of the powerful Maudlin entity, giving the band another chance to blow listeners away, as well as signal the creation of the soon masterful Kayo Dot.

As on albums before, Toby Driver effortlessly weaves styles and genres together to make unique compositions and give Part the Second a harmonious identity of its own. Though you won't hear lengthy metal passages, growling, and the like the heavier influences still reside on this album, they're simply reined in a bit and are used as equally beautiful contrasts and turning points to the orchestral rock music found flowing throughout Part the Second. And like an orchestral piece, I feel this is one of those few albums that must be listened as a whole. While the songs don't so much flow together obviously, the emotions and recurring themes and sounds just build upon each other and just have a much stronger impact when you hear how the album dances and sings as a single piece of music.

The instrumentation on Part the Second is flawless. The violin and guitars that lead on this album are evocative, melodic, dark, inspiring, and interesting. You'll hear the mastery that is expected of progressive music. Drums illustrate and match the mood of every piece, giving the music the jolt it sometimes requires when the guitar takes a step forward, or being weightless when the violin cries and the music is more orchestral. The additional instruments including piano, flutes, and cello give Maudlin of the Well a wider arrangement of textures and touches to brighten the music. It's thanks to this kind of instrumentation that the music here has such an elemental feeling to it. All the compositions and structures can be easily compared to that of a stormy night, a relaxing sunrise, a cold rain, an August fire, anything. Part the Second becomes your own personal canvas.

A personal part of Toby Driver that I absolutely love and find sometimes overlooked, is his lyricism. Wonderfully poetic, Toby Driver's lyrics on this album enrich the music because of the similarities they share. Being focused on the natural world and the supernatural experiences with it, the relationship between the lyrics and music shine not in a parasitic way, where one dominates and relies on each other but rather a beneficial symbiosis. The vocals are sung with emotion and conviction. They sometimes are intimate and quiet as they speak to you or they can echo with an eerie pride. The strengths and balance of these parties elevates each other and add the journey of Part the Second's imagery.

All in all, Part the Second is not something that a Toby Driver fan should hear, a post-metal fan should hear, a progressive music fan should hear, no ' it is an album that any music fan should hear. Imagination and brilliant execution to back it up, Part the Second is a auditory experience that will bleed into every other sense.

'Like a stone I fell, and was engulf'd in winter darkness , silence filled each sphere that from my lips escaped and ceas'd but for a breath before rising to the surface and waves.'

 Part The Second by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.22 | 705 ratings

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Part The Second
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars A much more interesting release for me than the previous albums. MAUDLIN OF THE WELL dropped the death metal they utilized on their double releases of 2001 and simply stuck to what I think they do the best, namely the post-rock aspects of their music and develop their ideas in that context. The result is a more cohesive and even-keeled flow of the tracks. There are still some elements of metal here and there but they are more suited to the overall feel of the album.

Despite this being a huge improvement in my opinion from the last two albums, I still don't feel that this deserves the masterpiece status that many seem to shower upon it. To me it is simply a very good representation of the type of experimental post rock that they are delivering. Of course music is subjective and this seems to move others more than it does me.

In my opinion, Toby Driver and his posse did a lot of refining of this particular sound in the KAY DOT projects which I actually prefer to MotW but i find that this particular album definitely has a more mature sound for MotW creating an atmosphere that I can get behind this time around and in many ways blurring the distinction between the MotW and KAYO DOT projects.

 Bath by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 307 ratings

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Bath
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars What a difference listening to music on a good pair of headphones makes. I have only heard this album a handful of times and it never really grabbed me. In fact it was hard to even focus on it because the dynamics are either too soft or too loud and I guess I was also distracted by multi-tasking. Well, the thing about headphones is that all these sounds I didn't even notice before that are in the tapestry of this album are now plain as day and apparently critical to the enjoyment level of this album. So in effect this album has transmogrified itself in my mind from a complete dud to one that I find somewhat interesting.

Having said that, I am in the camp that this isn't as developed as the KAYO DOT albums that follow which I prefer to MAUDLIN OF THE WELL. This album does showcase some interesting diversity with all the instruments and adopted genres in the mix. I guess the parts I like the best are the jazzy, post rock extensions that are a melodic and dissonant playground while the times they take a stab at death metal I find a little disingenuous simply because I am too familiar with death metal and this just doesn't cut it for me. Those parts I do find interesting with the metal are the bits when the post rock and metal overlap somewhat.

I really want to like this more but for me this boils down to being simply an interesting prelude to the more interesting KAYO DOT projects that develop the avant-garde and everything is properly mangled together to my liking where the timings, the timbres and the atmospheres feel genuinely more bizarre and alien. I think the two Interludes are possibly my favorite tracks on here.

 Leaving Your Body Map by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 330 ratings

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Leaving Your Body Map
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars For a band who claims that the ideas for the twin releases of BATH and LEAVING YOUR BODY MAP came from astral projection, I would think that there would be a more dreamy feel to them. In fact nothing on these albums makes me think of a strange dimension where a spirit rides the ethers throughout the universe. It simply sounds like experimental metal in its nascent form. For me the thing about dreamscapes is that everything would seem more surreal and bizarre. Oh well, guess my ideas are different than most since these albums seem to be extremely popular.

This album starts off immediately with the death metal thing and I commend the band for adding flutes and whistles and all kinds of new sounds to the mix but something about these albums just doesn't click with me where the KAYO DOT ones do. As with BATH the gentler jazzier post rock parts work best for me while the growly metal parts seem to lack any legitimate luster. Not a bad album but doesn't live up to the subject matter projected and fails to transgress into the astral planes the way I imagine such music sounding like. Basically I think they tackle too lofty of a goal and fail to deliver the goods.

Thanks to useful_idiot for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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