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

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES

The Enid

 

Symphonic Prog

3.70 | 57 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Contrary to popular belief Pye Records didn't fold in 1980, it simply changed names to PRT (and I believe changed ownership or at least management as well). But they weren't doing particularly well financially and probably wouldn't have promoted The Enid well anyway so the two departed ways following the release of 'Six Pieces'. This would be the first studio release on the band's own ENID label (the two Hammersmith live albums predated it just slightly).

The band also lost Francis Lickerish and William Gilmour, followed several months later by drummer Chris North and Martin Russell who had provided the third set of keyboard hands on 'Six Pieces'. That left Robert John Godfrey and Stephen Stewart (plus occasional friends) as all that remained of The Enid. Lickerish and Gilmour would resurface together years later as core members of the neo-symphonic/folk group Secret Green. North and Russell would form Craft. Original member David Storey (who left prior to 'Six Pieces') would reappear with the band on occasion in later years, but to the best of my knowledge none of the members from the first four album ever showed up on an Enid album or tour after 'Something Wicked?'.

This was the first album to feature vocals, written I believe by North with contributions by Godfrey. The story is not particularly original (post-apocalyptic mankind), especially given the times as punk and anger were in high fashion and the Cold War was coming to a head. And in fact the lyrics tend to be a bit Pollyanna at times, but the album was fairly well received and I believe became their biggest commercial success along with the supporting tour that followed.

The songs here are characterized by a rather noticeable 80s feel including a rather more polyphonic and at times almost glam sheen than anything the band had done prior. Godfrey's vocals smack of Bowie circa the Berlin years with a bit of Freddie Mercury's stage presence, no small feat considering Godfrey wasn't really known as a gregarious showman. It's an interesting stylistic change for what was left of the group, although I can't say always a welcome one. The opening track is misleading as what follows settles into more of the contemporary classical feel of prior Enid albums, though nowhere near the orchestral magnificence of the first two albums. While the vocals weren't particularly well received by older fans they did help the band acquire some new ones, and these tended to be just as rabidly loyal as those who caught onto the band in their early years. I suppose there wouldn't have been many more Enid albums had this one not been the financial windfall for Godfrey and Stewart that it was.

That said, this certainly isn't my favorite The Enid album, but it isn't the least favorite either. It's a decent record though not nearly as unique as their first four. A solid three stars as far as I'm concerned but certainly no more than that, and not recommended as a gateway album to the band since it isn't a true representation of what most of their music sounds like. Worth picking up but if you really want to learn about the band start with the first two records before listening to this one.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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