Fireworks

The Enid - 'Journey's End' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/15/35/db/820_theendjourneysend_1290034941.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 17, 2010    
 
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This is one of those albums that will please the cognoscenti, but may not attract many new adherents.

Sometimes, an album is not what it may seem. Those of you reading the list of ‘players’ on this CD will note “ELSA – growls” and possibly jump to the conclusion that The Enid have gone all extreme metal on their fans and now have an Angela Gossow ‘growlie clone’ in their ranks. Let me commence this review by putting minds at rest, for Elsa is vocalist Max Read’s elderly Doberman and her presence is far from obtrusive!

Although it is now quite a while since the last release from The Enid, for those of you who like me are long-time admirers of the eclectic symphonic meanderings of founder member Robert John Godfrey and his cohorts, this will be an entirely happy re-acquaintance because it conforms nicely to the “everything changes, but nothing changes” mantra insomuch as the performing personnel may represent something of a revolving door, but the tones, phrasings and overall ambience of the music remains characteristically that of The Enid. And the music of The Enid is incomparable and unique: often cinematic in breadth and beauty, but with staccato vocal sections to punctuate proceedings. Thus here we have the regal and somewhat typical Enid sounds of the near fourteen minute ‘Malacandra’ followed by eight minutes of ‘Shiva’ an adventurous piece both vocally and instrumentally that shows very clearly that the creative spirit of this band of merrie gentlemen is far from dimmed. Once this agitational (I’ve probably invented the word!) passage has died away the album is brought to a fitting conclusion by the wondrous contemporary orchestral work ‘The Art Of Melody – Journey’s End’ and I find myself transported back to the golden era of albums such as ‘Six Pieces’, ‘Touch Me’ and the recently re-released ‘Aerie Faerie Nonsense’.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The first half of the album has three linked tracks: ‘Terra Firma’, ‘Terra Nova’ and ‘Space Surfing’ and those of you with a background in “blue sky thinking” may identify the focus. In my interview with RJG (elsewhere this issue) he tells me that ‘Journey’s End’ is allegorical and you might, perhaps, see something here about the state of human existence. Now, despite telling you of the uniqueness of the music of The Enid, I have found ‘Terra Firma’ and its marching beat to be somewhat redolent of something by the Alan Parsons Project. ‘Terra Nova’ with its ambiently ethereal tones is more like it, as is the jaunty ‘Space Surfing’ which elegantly fuses an initially more modern approach with the more grandiose sounds of The Enid of yore.

This is one of those albums that will please the cognoscenti, but may not attract many new adherents. It was ever thus; but I hope that the more adventurous amongst you will give it a try.

Paul Jerome Smith

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