Maudlin of the Well – Part the Second (2009)

Posted: April 6, 2011 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, Reviews
Tags: ,

Now defunct Maudlin of the Well presented Part the Second almost ten years after they shifted their lineup slightly and changed their band name to Kayo Dot (the band I reviewed a couple days ago). Part the Second‘s purpose was to bring back old Maudlin song ideas to life. It was completely funded through fan donations and released on the internet for free download. Originally, Maudlin had a very progressive, experimental post metal sound. Part the Second, however, is very completely different animal from old maudlin and Kayo Dot. Frontman and composer Toby Driver does away with Kayo Dot’s overly complicated song structure and atonal chord progressions, and sheds Maudlin’s post metal sound completely (with exception of the last track on the album).

Enough with the history though. Lately, I’ve been picking albums that have had a huge impact on me creatively and emotionally (From This Vantage, Shadows of the Sun) and this one adds to that list. It’s a gorgeous album fusing post rock, avant garde and jazz. Toby Driver and his crew have crafted beautifully melodic compositions filled with many traditional and non-traditional instruments. Part the Second is genre busting recording that is at times as peaceful as Sigur Ros, to being manic and abstract like King Crimson, and heavy like Cult of Luna (minus the growls). Though Part the Second sounds nothing like anything I have ever heard. Toby’s vocal performance is better on this album than any other. In addition, the vocals act more as another instrument rather than playing a lead roll.

To sum everything up, the performance is incredible, the instrumentation is incredible, the soundscapes are incredible and overall, one of the most truly unique albums I have heard. The only inhibiting aspect to this album is the songs fell undeveloped at times; they sound more like a collage of many musical ideas pasted together. Part the Second falls short of being a masterpiece of experimental music. If the band had spent a little more time refining and focusing their ideas, it might have been a perfect recording. As it stands though, Part the Second is genius and highly recommended to post rock, progressive rock and experimental/indie fans. Plus it’s available for free from the band’s site! What else could you ask for?



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