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MAUDLIN OF THE WELL

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


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Maudlin Of The Well biography
Maudlin Of The Well is an avant-garde progressive metal band from Boston, who formed in 1996 and 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 release has earned the band many new fans, as well as much mor...
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MAUDLIN OF THE WELL discography


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

3.64 | 78 ratings
My Fruit Psychobells... A Seed Combustible
1999
4.18 | 227 ratings
Bath
2001
4.20 | 259 ratings
Leaving Your Body Map
2001
4.24 | 564 ratings
Part the Second
2009

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

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3.37 | 20 ratings
Secret Song
2001

MAUDLIN OF THE WELL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Leaving Your Body Map by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.20 | 259 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.

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 Bath by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 227 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.

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 Part the Second by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.24 | 564 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.'

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 Part the Second by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.24 | 564 ratings

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Part the Second
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

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.

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 Bath by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 227 ratings

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Bath
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

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.

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 Leaving Your Body Map by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.20 | 259 ratings

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

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

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.

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 Bath by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 227 ratings

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Bath
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Roundabot

5 stars First released on: riversofreverb.blogspot.dk

Maudlin of the Well is an avant-garde metal band from Boston that in the late 90's and first years of the 2000's released some of the most intriguing and thought-provoking music in the metal genre and beyond. Their songs, allegedly composed through astral projections and lucid dreams, are some of the most inspiring and interesting material in contemporary music. In 2001 the band released separately two albums that were supposed to be part of a double album. Lead by Toby Driver, the music this band displays in these two albums is some of the most delightfully original of the new century. Bath is the first one, and it shows Toby Driver peaking as a songwriter displaying some of his best material.

What this album manages to do is induce the listener into a state of full consciousness, in which he can experience the tremendous beauty and the extreme horror of life and the universe, all at the same time. As complex in structure as some of these songs are, they are all extremely enjoyable compositions, and each one has elements that are very rewarding. It doesn't disregard the listener in the name of experimentation as avant-garde music sometimes does; instead it invites the listener in with sublimely dynamic passages and gorgeous melodies.

The album opens with The Blue Ghost / Shedding Qliphoth; its atmospheric intro leads the listener to a dreamlike state, with just a few guitar picks and melodies that give an ethereal feel to the song. As the acoustic guitar follows, we are already inside the world of this outstanding album. The piece builds up adding more and more instruments to the basic electric guitar picks that we listened to in the beginning. It slowly transforms into an ambient/jazz piece including a clarinet and an acoustic guitar. Finally it blasts into a climax, with an electric guitar playing the melody of the acoustic guitar over some heavy riffs. It is a great introduction to the world of this album.

The other face of Maudlin of the Well is shown in the next song, They aren't all Beautiful, a very heavy and evil track, full of anger, despair and bitterness. The vocals are extremely aggressive, and fit the lyrics perfectly. It then enters into a slower dynamic with some delicate guitar interludes in between the heavy, faster sections. It segues into a brutal jam with odd tempos and great musicianship, showing probably the greatest asset of this band, how they can make a song seamlessly flow through very different moods with outstanding craftsmanship. The song has a brutal outro with the vocals coming back with the same anger-ridden energy.

After this sort of introduction to the two sides of the band, the songs that follow are more of a mix between the heavy and the lavish. Heaven and Weak for example opens with a soft guitar intro again with jazz elements mixed with ethereal synths and vocals. As the guitars get heavier the song enters a rockier segment that has a doomy restrained feel. Then everything suddenly breaks loose as a blast of guitars takes the song into metal territory again. The duality shown in this song alone is archetypical of maudlin of the Well's sound in this album. The first of four interludes spread through the two albums comes after this track. It is a beautiful and simple guitar piece that gives the listener a break after the intensity of the previous track.

Bath is also an emotional roller-coaster, as it can be appreciated in songs like The Ferryman, in which the listener is taken through various contrasting kinds of styles. Its eerie organ intro creates a horror movie atmosphere that then is overtaken by a jazzy interlude that works as the calm before the storm. Before we know it, the heaviness kicks in with death metal guitars and growls, but then the growls are replaced by a feminine operatic voice as the organ takes the forefront again. By now we are drown in the ghastly and bizarre world of this outstanding composition, as it finishes with what seems to be the lamentations of some weird moribund creatures.

This track segues into probably the song with which it contrasts the most, Marid's Gift of Art, the most straightforwardly beautiful track on Bath. It is simply one of the purest showcasings of sheer beauty I've ever listened to. It's such a delicate track with amazing musicianship, with the guitars working perfectly with the wind section to create a heavenly aura that fits the innocent bliss of the song wonderfully. This dynamic with a different approach continues in Girl with a Watering Can, with its superb clarinet intro. It features soulful vocals by both Maria-Stella Fountoulakis and Driver giving the song a captivating mystical quality. The end of the song takes us into a voyage into outer space, with a guitar solo that has an otherworldly sound.

Birth Pains of Astral Projections is the centerpiece of the album. It shows all the elements that make it the masterpiece it is, and is probably the better crafted song of the bunch. The intro shows the bands skillful abilities to create great jazz sections yet again. As the intro ends, we enter the death metal section with a fantastic guitar solo that gives way to the growling vocals that are in top form. The brutality of this part of the song is complemented by the outstanding guitars and the steady drums that keep the song in a strong and menacing pace. Driver's clean vocals take the stage again in the last third of the song, as it calms down again before the greatest guitar solo of the album is played, it is the climax of the album and it is probably its most rewarding moment.

Another interlude, this time a very jazzy piece that mixes bass, piano and acoustic guitar, precedes the final song of the album. Geography is a powerful sort of ballad. It is a mesmerizing track that keeps the listener interested on what direction it will take until its final blast that give the album a fitting and intense ending. The chorus section is especially beautiful and interesting, as it is sung by Driver with a great amount of emotion, probably his strongest vocal performance in the album. The acoustic guitar solo is just another highlight to add to an album full of outstanding guitar performances, showing again the great talent of these musicians.

Bath is a masterpiece of the highest quality that shows one of the best bands in the avant- garde metal scene creating an uncanny and transcendental experience for the listener. The level of songwriting and musicianship displayed throughout this album is beyond remarkable. It is an album that takes a lot of risks, and it takes them with a bold almost reckless attitude that is extremely inspiring, as it ends up succeeding in every way possible. Time will tell if maudlin of the Well's output, including this album, will be remembered as timeless classics; but I know in my book this is one album for the ages, an essential piece of musical genius.

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 Bath by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 227 ratings

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Bath
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

4 stars Companion release to Leaving Your Bodymap, I find it quite difficult to articulate why it is that I am more attracted to the former than to Bath. They both certainly have songs and sections that are totally mind- and soul-blowing. Bath may actually have sections that are more beautiful than those of Bodymap but I think Bath's lows are just lower.

1. "The Blue Ghost, Shedding Qliphoth" (7:57) starts the album off quite mellowly, very delicate acoustic guitar play, when drums finally come in, during the fifth minute, they are played with brushes. Saxes play gently. Beautiful guitar melodies. Quite a deceptive intro for what is to come at the 6:42 mark (and later--in the next song). A nice song even though it is a bit drawn out. (9/10)

2. "They Aren't All Beautiful" (5:37) is pure doom metal, growl singing, screams, machine gun bass drum play, and loud metal guitar power chords. Still, the song is filled with many bizarre and very fleeting twists--acoustic, ambient pauses, and jazzy chord twangs. Not my favorite TD song. (6/10)

3. "Heaven and Weak" (7:43) begins mellowly, almost acoustic jazz-like, with a bass, acoustic guitar and jazz-style drum kit. MICHAEL FRANKS-like beautiful male voice enters at the 1:30 mark. Song gets amped up into heavy rock at the three minute mark and soon begins to sound a little FRANK ZAPPA-ish--even DEVIN TOWNSEND-like. Amazing guitar riffs at 4:30 introduce full-blown metal dance. Treated voice takes the lead at 5:34, song comes a little down, then a bridge/interlude of harmonics and snare and bass drum beating before everything escalates into full-blown space shredding. Cue DEVIN to close. (8/10)

4. "(Interlude 1)" (1:38) is a slighlty jazzy instrumental of two acoustic guitars with delicate wah-pedaled electric guitar lead taking the melody over the top. Nice song! (9/10)

5. "The Ferryman" (7:51) opens with some dramatic and ominous solo organ play. This gives way in the second minute to some very subtly played drums which are then joined around the 1:30 mark by some equally delicate guitars, strummed and soloed. Then at 2:40 the wall of metal comes crashing in--with three different metal voices: a growler, a screamer, and a couple of melancholy disembodied ghosts. The fourth voice, a female, is actually quite lovely if a bit pitchy. The reappearance of the organ--over/under the metal thrashing--is quite cool, and supports the ghostly feel of the voices quite nicely--and actuallly takes the metal edge off of the guitar play, bringing them down to almost "rock" level. The Harry Potter-like death voices in the watery cave in the final minute are a bit bizarre, but, I guess, very effective in perpetuating and completing that Charon/River Styx theme here. (8/10)

6. "Marid's Gift of Art" (3:42) sounds of water splashes and drips (carrying over from Charon's pole-work of the previous song) opens the song before a pleasant, laid back picked/strummed acoustic guitar and background electric fade in. The vocal (to a child?) begins around 1:20. The vocal mirrors the guitar work throughout. Nice trumpet and cello integration in the last half of the song. (8/10)

7. "Girl with A Watering Can" (8:45) opens with some beautiful folkish solo from a read instrument (bassoon?) before an equally beautiful band sets up a full, delicate foundation for the beautiful female voice (the "Girl"?) to join in around the 1:30 mark. The tempo seems to be being played with a bit as the girl sings her tale, yet the constant bass rhythm betrays the truth. Very interesting. A coda and bridge into a new section is accomplished with the use of a sequence of heavy guitar chords. The new stand on which the female singer pours forth her public voice is still quite lovely. At 5:30 a soft male voice takes over vocal lead, as if to tell his perspective of the Girl. At 6:20 a metal guitar and synth solo section are played out to great effect and emotional display. The final minute maintains that open pace while the soft- spoken male returns to sing about the girl's flower garden and his missing her. Great song! One of my three favorites on the album. (10/10)

8. "Birth Pains of Astral Projection" (10:35) opens with a guitar, bass and drum foundation which has a bit of an Old West flavor to it. Very soothing as if played next to the fire under the midnight stars. Gentle saxophone joins for a bit just before the two minute mark at the same time a single sustained and wavering note from an electric guitar screeches menacingly in the background. By 3:30 the song shifts into heavy metal mode (though ever retain some calmer, less frenetic quality to it) as the doom growl voices emerge. At 6:40 Toby and the beautiful music side comes back. Great guitar work (lead and rhythm) in the ninth minute. One of my other favorites. (10/10)

9. "(Interlude 2)" (2:13) uses the splashing in a bathtub for its rhythm track with acoustic guitar and horns. Nothing special and a little gimicky but okay. (8/10)

10. "Geography" (4:26) is acoustic guitar based with a straightforward Toby vocal and some Frippertronics-like electric guitar sliding around in the more dynamic parts. Nothing too extraordinary. (8/10)

A very good album with some great TD/moTW highlights, just not as mind-blowing as its sister album.

4.5 star album, rated down for its inconsistencies.

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 Part the Second by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.24 | 564 ratings

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Part the Second
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by LakeGlade12

5 stars 4.65 Stars. The perfect introduction to MOTW

Part the second is the comeback album after 8 years of hiatus (although sister band Kayo Dot was still active) and it was the first MOTW/KD album I bought. Like many people on PA I stumbled across them on the top 100 and found out this album is 100 % free so I thought "why not?". I'm so glad I gave them a go as both bands now rank among my personal top 15.

PTS is much more delicate and less intense compared to their previous albums, but it still keeps the signature weirdness and unpredictability that I've come to love. The structure of the album is interesting with each song being darker, heavier and more experimental than the previous. But the progression from beauty and order into metal and randomness is gradual, unlike previous albums which switch randomly between the two.

"An Excerpt from 6,000,000,000,000 Miles Before the First, or, the Revisitation of the Blue Ghost" (what a title!) begins with a cheerful tune and classical instruments are tastefully added. Things slow down to a crawl with Toby singing with as much delicacy as he can muster. This lasts for several minutes making it great for chilling out. The second half of the song is a playful (i.e. it has lots of cool twists and turns but staying light-hearted throughout) but incredibly beautiful instrumental. This is probably my favourite MOTW song ever, its just pure beauty from start to finish.

"Another Excerpt: Keep Light Near You, Even When Dying" starts with some lovely orchestral arrangement done in such a way that I almost think I'm listening to pure classical music. Gradually more rock is substituted for the classical until before you know it you are getting blasted with some awesome (and quite rough, almost metal at the end) solos. As the intensity peaks the song does a wild mood change with very tense vocals and atmospheres. This tension continues for the rest of the song and finishes fairly abruptly. I love everything up to the intense solos, the rest it just plain weird.

"Rose Quartz Turning to Glass" starts in a similar manor to the last track. There is quite a bit of classical music, but there is also lots of odd sound effects firing of randomly in the background. It takes time to get used to this but it is definitely very original. Things then get really strange with some mad man making stupid groans and shouts while a violin and aggressive electric guitar play in the background. And no I'm not making this up! Anyway the song then morphs into a very catchy and straightforward rock song which continues until the end. This song is very much an acquired taste, but fortunately for the band I do like it!

"Clover Garland Island" starts of with very dark and jarring metal which can sound quite shocking to ones ears given how beautiful the last 3 songs were (for the most part). The vocals are harmless but sung in a chaotic manor which only adds to the tension. Things quieten down with more classical music and background noises (dogs barking, flowing water etc.). Toby then sings with lots of passion and melancholy but without any sense of harmony. That sounds like a bad thing but it really works with the subdued music. There is one bust of energy at the end which is short lived. Like the last song it is totally unique (making it very hard for me to describe!) and a acquired taste, so give this song time before you discount it.

"Laboratories of the Invisible World (Rollerskating the Cosmic Palmistric Postborder)" (seriously, what's with the song titles!) starts as a very slow and gentle ballad...and then turns into some fierce avant-garde metal! I won't even bother describing this, just expect lots of mind expanding twists and turns. One of the best metal songs MOTW have ever done, definitely a masterpiece.

PTS is not a easy album, but it is the least intense MOTW album and it is not quite as weird as KD. Therefore if you cannot enjoy this album, I wouldn't go looking for their non-free releases. I was amazed by the wonderful and strange world Toby and Co have created and that hasn't changed with time. So go on, expand your mind with this free release (and don't forget to donate!). I hope this won't be the last MOTW album but if it is they couldn't have finished on a higher note.

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 Bath by MAUDLIN OF THE WELL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 227 ratings

BUY
Bath
Maudlin Of The Well Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Garlop

5 stars I cant really find words to describe how I feel each time I listen to this masterpiece.

From tight and harmonized acoustic passages, ambient and post-rock to harsh death metal! You cant define this band just by one track.

If you listen to it for the very first time, the first song "The blue ghost/Shedding Qliphoth" starts really quiet and grows constantly into something touching, bigger and complete. After this song you expect something similar, "They arent all beautiful" takes that idea and throws it to the garbage. A full nonsense of death metal in which you inmediately jump and join with rage. This ups and downs go around the whole album but miraculously, it flows smoothly! This idea of playing with the listener's predictions and emotions.

My favourite track is "The Ferryman", its very diverse and pretty much has all the elements I mentioned before.

The interludes could be just "breaks" between songs, for me they are really great songs individually with one idea that develops till the end. In the next album the interludes are much more longer clocking 5 minutes. There's also a conection in the album art between both albums, like if they have switched artwork. This would eventually talk about the concept around this two records but I clearly havent digged into that yet.

In conclusion, I encourage you to listen this record or the next one just to realize what I m saying right here. I doubt this record could stop surprising me till a very long time!

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

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