Why not? Well, I have absolutely no idea. My best guess is the fact that I have never been a (post) hardcore fan. That, and I have been away from the heavy music scene for about ten years before I started this website. In the days Maudlin stepped on festival stages far and wide, I was engaged in the dark ambient and noise scene. Until today, I didn't know any song by these guys. Now, that is all changing and after giving this album a first spin I'm stuck between a feeling of regret and one of pleasant surprise.
Maudlin is a Belgian band, formed in 2005. In those thirteen years, they released only three albums, this one being the second full length on Consouling Sounds. This one comes five years after 'A Sign Of Time' and much like its predecessors it is a concept album. This time, the focus is on the sea. The band hails from Ostend, a city at the Belgian coast so the band members are very familiar with the North Sea.
The music on this album is quite different from what I expected. After all, I expected post hardcore but I was treated to something psychedelic and immersive. 'Endless Expanse' is a perfect opener for this album, something between Tool, Soundgarden and Isis. To me, that was surprising, especially when the vocals came in. Most of them seem to be clean, well performed efforts instead of brutal screams. To me, that is a massive plus.
Then it hit me. Of course, Maudlin has matured, something you can easily hear in the brilliant 'Erase'. Along with the opener, this one is probably my favorite. In fact, all of these tracks are strong, potent pieces of raw psychedelic rock music. Over the past thirteen years or so, the members have gotten extremely well attuned to one another, became better musicians, experienced the ups and downs of the underground music industry.
Blending psychedelic rock with doom metal and grunge is an absolute win-win situation and Maudlin simply nailed it. Other bands that come to mind include Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Om, Porcupine Tree, Alice In Chains and Black Sabbath. I don't think those are bad names to be compared with. Yet, probably more important than that, Maudlin managed to create their own niche within a vast and massively influenced music scene, so it seems.
So yeah, from a bit hesitant to glorifying. I guess that I either underestimated these guys in the past or they have just created their own magnum opus. Fact is, this is going right into my day-to-day playlist in which all of the aforementioned bands are already present. I'm sure I will enjoy tracks like 'The Stowaway' or 'Above The Vast Clouds' quite a few times from now on. I can only recommend this album, which is actually yet another statement about how much talent our country harbors.