Review Summary: “Creation isn’t beautiful. You inspire the ugliest things.”
For years it seems, the spirit of heavy metal and it's creative process have been completely separated from one another.
Contrary to popular belief, heavy metal spanned far beyond burning down churches and antagonizing The 700 Club. Metal was about channeling one's creative process when it was so much easier not to do so. It was about viciously racking one's brain for musical ideas when society was lobotomizing us.
Such an attitude is lost on the metal acts of today, whether it's Ozzy Osbourne trying to reclaim his legacy or some nobody trying to do it for him. You can’t really blame them, though. The “style” of metal is historically a static phenomenon, with its identity in recent times amounting to nothing more than “not rock and roll.” The reality is that metal devolved into what it claimed to hate: stale, tiresome, pre-packaged fluff that operates under pre-established musical convention. It would seem that the only way to successfully defy the cliches of metal would be to leave the surface world entirely.
So that’s exactly what Maudlin of the Well did.
’s saving grace is that it’s incredibly fluid and organic, effectively recreating the stream of consciousness it was born out of. While the music sometimes harkens back to the cleanly-chopped instrumental passages of progressive rock groups like Gentle Giant, it’s pleasantly defiant all the less, whether it’s the hypnotic and crushing nature of the repetitive riffs that pop up over “They Aren’t All Beautiful,” (Indicating a disturbance in said stream of consciousness) or the effectively out-of-place organs that appear in “The Ferryman” (Functioning as a parody of modern metal).
The concept of astral projection in order to compose music is admittedly silly, but it could only exist in a genre that, for all intents and purposes, is about rising above your peers and dominating in your creative spaces. With Bath
, Maudlin of the Well invented a new form of spirituality in heavy music; One that transcends a certain ritual involving pot, headphones, a standard-tuned guitar with a distortion pedal, and Metallica’s first four albums.
“Creation isn’t beautiful. You inspire the ugliest things.”