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With the internet nowadays, it almost seems as if even the most underground bands can't possibly be forgotten. In real life, you don't find yourself joining a cult following almost immediately with a group of random people like you would on the internet. This seems rampant, and just that following is enough to keep any subject matter- person place, thing, or idea alive.
One can say that maudlin of the Well were almost forgotten. The thousand pound, seemingly invisible legacy of this band was held above nothingness by none other than their band's genius creator, Toby Driver all the while building his new band, Kayo Dot. The building of this new entity was a double-edged sword for maudlin of the Well in that it saved them from total obscurity, but in the shadow of the not-by-much-but-more-popular Kayo Dot.
I was one of the few who heard of maudlin of the Well by word of mouth, and before Kayo Dot. I brushed them aside until nearly a year and a half later when I began to understand and like the mystical brand of avant-prog metal they brought to the table. I had only the first track from the album Bath, "The Blue Ghost/Shedding Qliphoth". Since this is what I knew of them, I started there.
Bath is unlike any album you will ever listen to. It has the uncanny ability to get inside your head and suck you into its multiverse all at once, and the aforementioned first track sets it off perfectly. The song is instrumental, and gradually builds up with reassuring cries from the trumpet. The acoustic guitar melodies soothingly descend into the background, and are probably even more chilling at times than the slowly building climax that explodes into an orgasmic euphoria.
Each track following this one is different, unexpected, and absolutely needed for this album's perfection. The lyrics are beyond surreal, Toby Driver's vocals, especially when he is cleanly singing, are haunting, innocent, and beautiful all at once. He made a good move by putting some of his harsh vocal-driven songs up front, because later you realize that after his monstrous screams, he is just as much a gentle giant.
As the album progresses, it loses its physical form, and becomes almost entirely spiritual. I highly recommend listening to this album when you are sleeping. That's an entirely different experience that you must feel for yourself. Toby Driver and Greg Massi's beautiful, interlocking guitar melodies are like one hypnotic device.
"Girl With A Watering Can" could be considered one of their most exemplary songs, as it combines most of the elements you'd hear throughout the album. Ironically enough (at least towards the song title), this song introduces the beautiful voice of Miss Maria-Stella Fountoulakis, who puts an entirely different, and calming mood to an increasingly intensifying song. Accompanied by the flute and clarinet work of Terran Olson recalling moments from the album's genesis, this song couldn't be any more dreamy. The one thing that you can completely expect from this album is that it will take you to uncharted territories that you won't want to come down from.
This is unlike any release from any progressive metal band. If you're turned off by the pompousity by most things progressive, don't turn this album down, as it will be one of the biggest regrets you will ever have. This band exemplifies the true meaning of being a "progressive" band; that it's not all about wanky five minute solos that go nowhere, but literal progression and bringing new things to the table. Don't let this band be forgotten. If you do, you may have to leave your body map to find it again...