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Maudlin Of The Well - Bath CD (album) cover

BATH

Maudlin Of The Well

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.18 | 308 ratings

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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.

LakeGlade12 | 5/5 |

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