without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
A victory for the people who donated, a victory for music production, and a victory for the music listener. This is one hell of a journey, this is an album that will consume you, it will break your heart every time only to force you to fall in love again. First I’ll have to say, this doesn’t sound like anything maudlin of the Well had done previously, almost all of the metal is gone. I recently criticised Kayo Dot for the same thing, but this has done something different, it’s done it so well that you can’t help but forgive it.
The first cheerful 30 seconds of this is so incredibly uplifting, it’s insanely happy, especially if you know that it’s going to be followed by what is quite possibly the most awesome album of all time. A beautiful string arrangement comes in and really sets the mood for what this album is all about. The guitars resonate throughout and just add a lush flavour that you can almost taste, the layering is absolutely stunning. The vocal are perfect for the mood, out goes the harsh and in comes a completely clean vocal performance and it works amazingly well.
The slow build up is accompanied by sheer beauty and suddenly you’re thinking where the time has gone the whole thing just suddenly escalates out of nowhere. It will make you feel like you’re floating on top of the world. And before you know it, the first song is over. Another Excerpt feels like the start of a beautiful awakening, and the start of it is more classical in nature than anything. The build-up, the production and the atmosphere have all been created to perfection.
And there’s no disappointments, no anti-climaxes, just utter perfection, and buried deep in the mix is some incredible guitar solos that are just waiting to burst to the forefront, but never quite get there. Everything just seems to end so quickly, it never feels like you get a whole song, 10 minutes becomes one and everything feels lost, it can drive you mad just wanting more. Every now and then you’re just going to drift out of it and then when you snap back you notice you’re already halfway through the whole thing.
I’d like to take this time just to explain the sheer beauty of this album. There’s something to admire at every step of the way. Every note seems to be put there purely for your enjoyment. It’s like it knows exactly what you want and just delivers. The strings, the drums, the keyboards and the guitars; everything just works so perfectly, parts of this are pure silent perfection. And then other times it just overwhelms you with a beautiful wave of sound.
The closing track is quite possibly the only thing that can be tied down to make this overly familiar with motW fans, it’s the heaviest track, but that doesn’t explicitly say there’s any real metal on it, it just sounds more powerful. Yet it still retains that control, direction and beauty.
There’s not much I can say about this album that hasn’t been said other than that I’m absolutely stunned. My faith in new music has been restored, and I really hope that in 20 years 2009 will be remembered as the year that maudlin of the Well shocked the world with this total classic. And let’s not forget it’s available for free on their website.
I have also posted this review on: Musicbanter, RYM and Progarchives.