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The Enid - Something Wicked This Way Comes CD (album) cover

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES

The Enid

 

Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 54 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars The Enid's album "Something Wicked This Way Comes" begins with ethereal musical arrangements on 'Rain Down', a majestic build up of brass, and ghostly effects. The guitars and synthesizers add a layer of atmospherics. The real surprise, in fact delight, are the vocals. After listening to their "Aerie faire Nonsense" instrumental opus, and not enjoying their full blown classical music, I was pleasantly taken in by this new approach to the music. The vocals definitely add a depth that was missing on AFN. This feels more like a progressive album due to the mix of orchestra, vocals and guitars. The atmosphere is darker than previous albums; haunting refrains and smoky synthesizer washes are dreamlike but never dull. The vocals are very strange, almost Magma like if I may be so bold, there are backwards sweep ups and tribal drums, a rain dance if you will. The drums are fantastic on this. I adore this track, it may be my favourite The Enid track. It certainly buries most of the stuff on their 2nd and 3rd albums.

'Jessica' is a quiet melodic piece with shrilly pipes and beautiful piano. The acoustic flourishes and flute add a lovely element. The music gets louder with well executed lead guitars and there is a mystical medieval feel to the melodies. A solid instrumental. 'And Then There Were None' has some innovative passages of music. The vocals return, sung well and with feeling, the style reminding me of Genesis, or The Moody Blues. The tune is whimsical and hard to grasp, an odd time signature, very proggy. There are some loud staccato crashes on guitar on this too, blended win with soft flute; quite innovative music.

'Evensong' has a creepy string intro with a portentous atmosphere. It builds to a sensitive brass solo and some nice guitar tones. Beautiful instrumental, but I was hoping the next track would not be more of the same as I feel the music suffers when it becomes predictable.

'Bright Star' has some sweeping synthesizer sounds to intro it. Then a strange pitchy motif locks in, with spacey effects and lead guitar solos. The brass is precariously layered over this. It is very intricate creative music, but I missed the vocals at this stage that were such a nice touch at the beginning of the album.

'Song For Europe' is much louder and has multi layers of brass and very strong guitars, Mike Oldfield style. It settle into a very quiet passage of flute and pipes, before the drums crash in again and the piercing guitars return. The drums are once again aggressively pounded in a tribal manner. A great instrumental.

'Something Wicked....' ends the album on a lengthy note. The piano and gentle guitar kick things off. Hallelujah! The vocals return, and they were needed I can tell you as I was beginning to be lulled off to sleep. The vocals are really a key feature of the album giving you something to grasp onto; "something wicked this way, and singing songs of war, arm yourselves, arm yourselves, no need to fear, your dying mother is here... oh, wonderful world, a passing dream, oh wonderful world..." The harmonies are nice, the lyrics are surreal, but this is powerful stuff. The blend of orchestral arrangements and synth are compelling. Once the vocals disappear, the instrumental passage dominates with a strong beat. There is a spacey guitar solo at 7 minutes in, that I am fond of. The chorus section returns until a woodwind section takes precedence. At 8:30 a haunting harmonious vocal echoes over the piano phrases, and then the piano takes over beautifully as synth pads come over like waves of sound. The sound of water splashing adds to the mood and fades out. A very unusual but inspiring piece of music.

This may be the best album of The Enid, though classical music fans may want to turn to "Aerie Faerie Nonsense", which is not my taste. "Something Wicked..." is certainly one of the strongest albums from the band and I can recommend this along with "In The Region of the Summer Stars".

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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