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The Enid - Aerie Faerie Nonsense (1983) CD (album) cover


The Enid


Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 118 ratings

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Sheets of Blue
5 stars A year after In the Region of the Summer Stars, came what was considered by critics and fans alike to be the group's masterpiece. Enter Aerie Faerie Nonsense. Ever-growing in popularity, The Enid stunned many with another concept album, this time based on the medieval legend of Roland, and his quests across Europe, as well as the Irish myth of Fand, a sea goddess known to be Queen of the Fairies; she also the inspiration for the well-liked cover art as well.

Opening with Mayday Galliard, a fanfare heralds the commencement of the album, before heading off into an elegantly uplifting theme, with Godfrey's keys leading the band as if he were a maestro, with a cluster of instruments being the orchestra, playing the joyful and rather playful piece. Ondine, a more acoustic piece, moves away from the brass arrangements, with soft strings and light wood sections coming in, giving a medieval touch to it. Childe Roland, comes crashing in with music well suited for a prelude to a battle, with the accentuation of the guitars and percussion and the stupendous string section, making for one of the band's more energetic tracks.

The sixteen-minute, side-long epic, Fand, is based on Sir Arnold Bax's The Garden of Fand, a symphonic poem. Fand tells the tale of Fand and her lover, Cuchulainn. This love, however, is short-lived, when Emer grows jealous and attacks the couple. Fand sees that Emer is worthy of Cuchulainn, and upset by their affair, so Fand chooses to leave him, never to meet Cuchulainn again.

The track, separated into two movements, reflects well on the myth, with the first movement portraying the meeting of the lovers and the growing jealousy of Emer, chockfull of romantic strings and the latter movement depicting the separation of the couple, giving a melodramatic finale to the suite, and the album as well.

Aerie Faerie Nonsense gives the listener what they want with a twist: progressive music with heavy classical overtones, from the grand Mayday Galliard, to the epic Fand. The Enid not only managed to dish out another classical masterpiece, but also made it about as good, if not better, than In the Region of the Summer Stars. Unfortunately, just as good times came to The Enid, something horrible arose, throwing the band into financial despair.

Sheets of Blue | 5/5 |


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