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The Enid - Journey's End CD (album) cover

JOURNEY'S END

The Enid

 

Symphonic Prog

3.63 | 26 ratings

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TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Enid's 2010 release is a welcome sight, especially in light of the legal problems the band is currently encountering. That they would still work so hard to bring new music to their fans is a welcome boon.

One might be afraid that the stress of their current situation would have a negative effect on this album, but that doesn't seem to be the case. This album has a very warm and organic sound, with music that is, for the most part, a combination between Rock and Classical. But they have approached this the opposite direction of most prog bands, and the starting point is clearly classical, driven by string and brass sounds, with the guitar added to complement the music (and it fits in much more naturally than in bands like Trans-Siberian Orchestra, where the guitar riffs overtop the music). In many cases, the band even removes the "rock" aspect of their sound, using the much more varied sound an orchestra can construct. (For those interested, they even released a short album that was just the orchestration used on this album).

The album starts off with perhaps the most powerful track, Terra Firma, which does not really fit in the rock/classical mould as much as the rest of the album. This track is defined by multiple layers of vocals decrying the death of the earth: "It's our world, it's a shame we killed it dead." "We drill, we kill it ... for the sake of the people." Truly excellent music with some excellent drum work, a highly recommended track.

From this point on, the album has very sparse vocals and relies heavily on the instrumentation, which is great because that is The Enids strongest point. It never rocks as hard as it does on the opener (although the chorus to Shiva would, if the lyrics were better). The album takes on a space theme from this point forward - the earth has been destroyed and we are now out in space in search of a better home. (At least, this is the theme I get from the album). The Enid uses the orchestra to create this feeling and it works to great effect; in most parts, you could close your eyes and imagine yourself floating among the planets, and the music would work perfectly for it.

Unfortunately, the album does suffer from some of the vocal work. Space Surfing, in particular, would (in my mind) benefit from less vocals; both Malacandra and Shiva have good vocals (in fact, Shiva is the bands strongest performance in this department barring the opener) but on repeated listens they grow a little tiring.

In terms of instrumental highlights, Malacandra immediately pops into mind, gracefully moving between the more epic moments and the more spacey moments to create a truly moving piece, and the closing and title track, Journey's End, sends the album off on a peaceful, victorious note.

Ultimately, this is a quite enjoyable album that I would recommend to fans of very Symphonic rock, or classical music.

TheGazzardian | 3/5 |

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