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Not for those of limited attention span... - 85%

Conan_Troutman, August 1st, 2003

I was first introduced to Maudlin of the Well by way of a sampler CD packaged with "a certain high-profile Canadian metal magazine" about two years ago. The song that would catch my ear would be "They Aren't All Beautifull"(I remember thinking of it as a proggy Opeth song), off(one of) their 2001 release(s) entitled "Bath". Finally hearing the entire album this year, I can only say "why the hell didn't I pick this up earlier?!?!?", as I have truly been missing out on one of the most challenging listens I've ever come across. It's almost as if I needed to prepare for what this disc has in store; that being a complete journey through the emotional spectrum, set to some great progressive metal! Not at all what I was expecting, "Bath" has some great surprises lurking within for the newcomer, such as the aforementioned "...Beautifull", set up by the haunting seven-plus-minutes long intro. piece "The Blue Ghost/Shedding Qliphoth". Finishing up the first "act" is "Heaven and Weak", a twisting-and-turning piece that goes from
a melancholy intro. to dark prog a la Tool or an evil-sounding Dream Theatre(with a faster midsection thrown in for good measure). The rest of the album seems to fall in the vein of one the previously mentioned songs; either melancholy and quiet, progressive and technical or just plain heavy(although the latter is in short supply here - sorry, death metal fans!). Which leads to my only beef with this record(and perhaps the band in general, although this has been my only exposure to Maudlin); despite the talent displayed by all members, I can't help but feel a certain lack of continuity throughout the album. Maybe I'm missing something here(I'm more a fan of traditional, thrash and death metal), but that notion always creeps up on me whenever I pop this disc in my stereo. Besides that, I can't come up with any other complaints to be aired. So for those out there looking for either a more original take on prog. metal, or just something to wrap your soon-to-be-confused noggin around, I suggest an evening with Maudlin. Those of the ADD persuasion need not apply.