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MAUDLIN OF THE WELL


"Bath" (Dark Symphonies)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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With two simultaneously released CDs, Maudlin of the Well are attempting what few bands have the guts to do - expose their creative output for the world to hear in one fell swoop. As a consequence, digesting "Bath" and its companion "Leaving Your Body Map" is a daunting task, but one well worth the effort for those who are adventurous and daring.

Maudlin of the Well still take an Opeth-like approach to see-saw balancing of quieter, melodic sections and over-the-top brutality, however "Bath" focuses more on the band's brutal side and nearly dissonant shards of sonic combustion. Maudlin of the Well adds crushing doom passages to the already wild palette of vibrant colors and broad brush strokes of their material. "Bath" is a somewhat confrontational disc that shoves its way into the auditory void - "Bath" demands to be heard yet sometimes forcing you to look away from its starkness and raw nerves.

The expansive scope of the lyrical subject matter is injected by the works of various literary greats - not that Maudlin of the Well need any help in that realm - and creates a world unlike any other. The lyrics are liberally sprinkled with the works of such luminaries as Aleister Crowley, William Wordsworth, Khalil Gibran, Percy Bysse Shelley, and William Peter Blatty.

It's not too difficult to compare listening to Maudlin of the Well and "Bath" as taking a long trip through a large museum with a variety of paintings, sculptures, and other art forms - the potential for sensory overload is nearly guaranteed, but it is a rejuvenating kind of overload that is inspiring.

"Bath" is a wild, jarring (and often disturbing) experience which nearly begs the listener to explore what the companion CD "Leaving Your Body Map" has to offer.

Fans of the avant garde metal styles would be remiss if they ignore "Bath" and its vibrant glory. 

"Bath" was produced by Maudlin of the Well and engineered by Jim Fogarty.

Maudlin of the Well is Jason Bitner, Byron, Toby Driver, Maria-Stella Fountolakis, Sam Gutterman, Greg Massi, Terran Olson, and Josh Seipp-Williams.

For more information visit http://www.maudlinofthewell.com


"Leaving Your Body Map" (Dark Symphonies)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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As the companion piece to the quite harsh "Bath," the effervescent "Leaving Your Body Map" takes a more atmospheric approach to the near un-definable sound of Maudlin of the Well. It becomes quite obvious that the yin and yang approach to these companion CDs is intended to complete a cycle of emotions that is both draining and renewing.

"Leaving Your Body Map" takes more of a subtle approach that draws you in most of the time in a gentle manner, but other times in a forceful way. Clearly, "Bath" is a more European-sounding CD along the lines of Tiamat and that band's gothic heaviness or the many components that make late '90s era The Gathering such a compelling listen. "Leaving Your Body Map" is required listening (especially after hearing "Bath") as it has almost a restorative effect to your emotional balance.

Although there are plenty of contrasts within each CD taken individually, the overall contrast of "Leaving Your Body Map" to "Bath" is remarkable in its own right. Although Maudlin of the Well may lack some cohesion over the course of "Bath" and "Leaving Your Body Map," the band more than makes up for it in sheer guts and expansive vision. I often think of the word 'struggle' when I am listening to Maudlin of the Well, but it's a good kind of 'struggle.' Maudlin of the Well may be struggling to find its collective voice, but I hope it never does because this band's journey and struggle is likely to be far more interesting than its eventual destination.

"Leaving Your Body Map" was produced by Maudlin of the Well and engineered by Jim Fogarty.

Maudlin of the Well is Jason Bitner, Byron, Toby Driver, Maria-Stella Fountolakis, Sam Gutterman, Greg Massi, Terran Olson, and Josh Seipp-Williams.

For more information visit http://www.maudlinofthewell.com


Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 21 Feb 2016 13:12:00 -0500.