Maudlin of the Well - _My Fruit Psychobells... A Seed Combustible_
(Dark Symphonies, 1999)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
If there are albums that can leave you puzzled and unsure of whether overall you liked what you heard or not, then this hour-long debut full-length from Maudlin of the Well is definitely one of those. Instruments such as clarinet and trumpet can be found amidst the sort of atmospheric, progressive doom/death these Americans produce, while growls and clean male and female vocals are used as well. The production is a bit below average overall, but acceptable. After "Ferocious Weights" and "A Conception Pathetic" open the album with the band's various musical influences resulting in a different and interesting form of doom metal, Maudlin of the Well start having some trouble keeping the album consistent. The third track, "Undine and Underwater Flowers", is a ballad of sorts, with some highly annoying "sweet" male vocals on top, and is entirely unable to justify its presence (not to mention its nine minute duration). The following three tracks see MotW back to their highly unusual atmospheric doom, with mixed results, but overall producing something which clearly tries to be innovative and usually manages to be interesting enough. While contrast can be excellent in music, that ballad in the middle of doom/death sequences is far too much for me. "Catharsis of Sea-Sleep and Dreaming Shrines" has some more good doom/death passages, especially the one towards the end. To finish this seven-song album, "Blight of River Systems" is another ballad, although somewhat less annoying than the third track. Most of you will probably want to leave out a couple of tracks when listening to this album (I know I will after I've finished reviewing it), but what's left is good enough to justify giving it a chance, especially if you like musical experimentation.


(article published 5/3/2000)

1/14/2002 P Azevedo 8.5 Maudlin of the Well - Leaving Your Body Map
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