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


Maudlin Of The Well


Experimental/Post Metal

4.21 | 364 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The American act maudlin Of The Well has been a delayed discovery for me, but oh man, how glad I am to finally have discovered. I've really learned to appreciate their avant-garde rock input at a fast pace. After the pleasant revelation that was their last effort "Part The Second", looking back at their previous catalogue led me to "Leaving Your Body Map", and so I find that this band's legacy meant a source of refreshing vigor for the latest expressions of experimental rock focused on exploring atmospheres and textures. Post- rock and all other related sub-genres as they stand labeled by critics and connoisseurs ? maudlin Of The Well is an undisputed champion of those. 'Stones Of October Sobbing' begins quite smoothly, displaying a minimalistic set of woodwind sounds that gently evoke the soft mystery of a grey fog in an autumnal afternoon? and then, prompted on a slow tempo, the whole ensemble settles a menacing portrait of mystic anguish. The growling vocals add an edge of uneasy weirdness, in this way completing the bizarre atmosphere in a very unique fashion. Another relevant factor is the use of some double bass drum in the rhythmic development ? more than just post-rock, this is something like post-death metal. 'Gleam In Ranks' is more colorful and enthusiastic, mostly focused on a clever combination of noise-rock and hard core within a patently frantic framework. Track no. 3, entitled 'Bizarre Flowers / A Violent Mist', is a real maudlin Of The Well classic. It starts slow yet aggressive, displaying a mood that stands somewhere between controlled fury and abstract contemplation. Later, after the 3'30" mark, things get deconstructed with the band aiming at another exploration into the dark realms of standardized post-rock rooted on death metal. The track's climax states a dense languidness that may remind us of Tortoise and Isis, to a certain degree. Or so I learn, this is pure mOTW. 'Interlude 3' is a whole different animal. It is an exercise on acoustic fusion, built on a lovely architecture of acoustic guitar, percussion and an orchestration of woodwind, viola and keyboard. This solace of musical poetry gives the listener a convenient rest after the preceding demonstrations of experimental energy. 'The Curve That To An Angle Turn'd' starts on a slow pace, but there is an air of suspicion about an impending display of emotional tension? and yes, it emerges incarnated under a metallic guise. But the whole story that these metallic sections are really interludes within a framework where subtle, introspective passages are the dominant ones. In these passages, the lyricism is well-ordained, even giving some room for some lovely flute solo along the way. The speed metal-tinged closure generates an intriguing explosion to wrap up the whole thing: yet another mOTW classic. 'Sleep Is A Curse' bears a pronounced pastoral nature ? soft singing and delicate dual acoustic guitars make up its sonic core. As much as this description may sound like this piece is out of place here, actually it serves as an inspiring, new approach to the album's overall emotional density. The orchestration featured on this song's latter half portrays an eerie beauty that one has to hear for themselves. The pairing of tracks 7 and 8 states what is arguably the most majestic portion of this album. Even though the main features happen to be recognizable at this point, these tracks remain a steady manifestation of the band's grandiose side. The metallic aspect of track 7 is convincingly explosive, while that of track 8 enhances the ever-present ethereal side. 'Interlude 4' is another exercise on lyrical moods, dominantly acoustic and sustained on soft percussion. The closer is the 6 minute long 'Monstrously Low Tide', which finds the band leaning closer to your regular post-rock akin to Tortoise and alike. The way this album ends signals the band's effective talent to make things work at varying levels, while strictly maintaining an artistic cohesion. "Leaving Your Body Map" is a significant album in the contemporary avant-garde rock trend.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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