Band: The Enid
Band Website: www.theenid.co.uk
Label: Operation Seraphim Records
Release Date: 2010
Where does one start, when talking about The Enid? The band under the single-minded Robert John Godfrey has attained almost legendary status on one hand and yet continues to toil away in obscurity on the other. The stories of label mistreatment, personal differences and general financial adversity are all legendary. And yet, The Enid survives, today consisting of Robert John Godfrey (keyboards), Max Read (vocals), Jason Ducker (guitars), Dave Storey (drums, percussion), Nick Willes (bass, timpani, percussion) and Elsa (growl). So we have new members yet again. So how does it sound?
Well, Journey’s End is made up of 6 tracks and features all the things that fans have come to know and love about the band; there’s the semi-industrial steam-punk sounds, the wonderful fanfares, muted vocals, and of course lush symphonic orchestration. Three of these compositions are on the longish side and the other three are around the five minute mark so there’s quite a bit of variety. Things get underway with the marching introduction and ethereal vocal chanting of “Terra Firma” [7:08]. This is the classic modern Enid sound since they introduced vocals back on Something Wicked This Way Comes. And even in these typically more rock oriented pieces, the instruments are orchestrated in the band’s own unique fashion with vocal lines delivered in a harmonized, repetitive fashion. Then you have a pieces like “Malacandra” [13:56] and “The Art of the Melody – Journey’s End” [5:20] which are classic Enid symphonic; featuring multiple string sounds layered on top of horn and woodwind synths and tympani drums. Each piece ebbs and flows with majestic crescendos and barely audible soft sections all culminating grand sweeping climaxes.
One of the interesting things for me about The Enid, is how they’ve been able to incorporate new members, each adding their own textures to the sound and yet the music remains steadfastly singular in terms of sound; The Enid of 2010 is not that much different than The Enid of 1976. And I think that’s a really good thing. Call me soft hearted, but I think every person who considers themselves a progressive rock fan should own at least one Enid CD and Journey’s End is a perfect disc to start your collection. It may not be my all-time favorite but just the same, I highly recommend it.