maudlin of the Well
Bath


5.0
classic

Review

by ThyCrossAwaits USER (46 Reviews)
February 16th, 2010 | 44 replies | 4,175 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The word "bath" fits this album perfectly, as it wraps and soaks into the listener...down to the very soul.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

There is no greater sensation than that of a warm bath. If ever music came close to reproducing that feeling, it is with the celestial brilliance of maudlin of the Well’s 2001 release, aptly titled Bath.

maudlin of the Well is the musical brainchild of Toby Driver, the lead vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, lyricist, and only permanent member. Throughout his career, Driver has consistently written ingenious soundscapes, both with the now defunct maudlin of the Well and his ongoing side project Kayo Dot. Despite his lengthy catalogue of releases, Bath is widely considered to be his magnum opus.

On this album, every sound perfectly overlaps with the next, utilizing suspenseful and surprising mood swings that send a shiver down your spine. The overall experience is such a harmonized mixture of styles it simply cannot be filed under a specific genre. Driver is a mastermind, blending traditional rock instruments (guitars, drums) with less conventional ones like clarinet, saxophone, and even a church organ into a mystical blend of rock, jazz, and avant-garde. At the start of the opening track “The Blue Ghost/Shedding Qliphoth,” another aspect is noticeable. The bass guitar is placed very high in the mix, creating a thick, warm atmosphere, which can be best described as like a bath. The 7-minute instrumental track lays down a blueprint for the rest of the album, painting a prologue of all corners of the spectrum of sprawling textures to come.

On “They Aren’t All Beautiful,” Driver breaks the soothing ambiance by showcasing his metal tendencies. The light instrumentation is replaced by heavy, frantic guitars and Driver doing death metal growls. Fortunately, these tendencies do not monopolize the record, and actually manage to positively accentuate the furious angst of Driver’s lyrics, such as “Creation isn’t beautiful / You inspire the ugliest things.” On my personal favorite track, “Heaven and Weak,” the metal aspects are at their most subtle, but also their best. The song opens with light, folky guitars and bright singing, before abruptly spinning into deeper, faster segments and darker vocals. What makes this so appealing is that the more intense segments are woven into the softer ones perfectly, and Driver’s voice doesn’t stray to growls, but instead ventures into insane snarls that sound sung through gritted teeth.

To put it in a nutshell, the most unique and engaging about Bath is its ability to wrap itself around the listener and make them think, “Wow, this is truly something from another world.” The impression of a soak in an astral bath is spiritually healing and inspiring. Holding the esteemed place as my 2nd favorite album of all time (after Discordance Axis’ seminal The Inalienable Dreamless), Bath is truly a work of art. It is completely original, defies all categorization, and is consistently and wholly absorbing from beginning to end.



Recent reviews by this author
Swans The SeerDarkosis Darkosis
Dragged Into Sunlight WidowMakerThe Killers Battle Born
Om Advaitic SongsGrinning Death's Head Golden Dawn
user ratings (876)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
ThyCrossAwaits
February 16th 2010



3009 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I realize this is a totally unnecessary review, but I had this written for a school project anyway so I figured...what the hell.

Burn2Burn
February 16th 2010



2378 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is my favorite album of all time.

Kubrick
February 16th 2010



739 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I can't decide between this and Choirs of the Eye as my favorite album of all time- dammit Toby, why must you place me in such an impossible predicament? I think Heaven and Weak is my fav too btw so good choice.

DivinityOfPan
February 16th 2010



85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

verging on a four for me

rasputin
February 16th 2010



14504 Comments


this isnt even a real album

Kubrick
February 16th 2010



739 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this isnt even a real album


bullshit. this album created reality. you wish you were as real as this album.

this is realism done for real, except realer than that.

rasputin
February 16th 2010



14504 Comments


umm it doesnt even exist are you retarded or something

charles2000
February 16th 2010



450 Comments


fagets itt trying to convince me this albums real

charles2000
February 16th 2010



450 Comments


22 comments? i would hope not

rasputin
February 16th 2010



14504 Comments


album is god guys toby driver is god bath is god eveyrhitng is god you know god that means it's good

rasputin
February 16th 2010



14504 Comments


obviously im not as real this is realism done even more realer this is realer realism

charles2000
February 16th 2010



450 Comments


thycrossawaits

Kubrick
February 17th 2010



739 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

obviously im not as real this is realism done even more realer this is realer realism


haha come on, that's not even fair. you can't turn a mocking statement into another mocking
statement.. it's like a double negative hahaha

charles2000
February 17th 2010



450 Comments


[img]http://i45.tinypic.com/hv56ao.png[/img]

Kubrick
February 17th 2010



739 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

touche.

EasternLight
February 17th 2010



2695 Comments


need this

Lunarfall
February 17th 2010



3177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is too good to be an album

Kubrick
February 17th 2010



739 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yes. it's not even real.

it's unreal.

(hold your applause)

thebhoy
Emeritus
February 17th 2010



4459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's only real if I'm listening to it. Otherwise it doesn't exist.

Kubrick
February 17th 2010



739 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

but what if i'm listening to it while you're not?.. using noise cancelling headphones no less..



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy