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The Enid - The Enid - Live At Hammersmith (Volumes I & II)  CD (album) cover


The Enid

Symphonic Prog

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3 stars I don't know if this is a prog rock album in the whole words sense. This is an orchestral live album, all instrumental, plenty of fine melodies. You can hear drops of electric guitar in the middle of pompous Wagnerian feeling or sometimes soft classical music arranges, and if for you doesn't matter the typical progressive rock sounds and enjoy good music forgetting the genre, this is a nice option. Another bands used a symphonic orchestra like an essential part in some of their stuffs, like (I remember right now) PROCOL HARUM's "Live With The Edmonton Orchestra" or DEEP PURPLE's "Live With The London Orchestra", but while PH conserved a very progressive sense in that album, and DP continued being a hard rock band in that double cd, THE ENID's "Live At Hammersmith", instead, isn't a real rock work. I heard similarities with the MIKE OLDFIELD's "The Orchestral Tubular Bells" style, and anyone who enjoyed MO music in that vein, surely will find in this THE ENID stuff a delicious dish.
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Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a review for the CD version of this release. I had the vinyl versions for years but the CD is such a step up in terms of sound quality that it's an essential purchase for the Enid fan. It starts with an arrangement of the national anthem by RJG that blows other versions away, before a performance of side two of 'In The Region Of The Summer Stars'. This is the highlight for me, wonderfully played and full of great melodies, from the bolero-like opening to the massive Wagnerian middle section to the dreamy ending it's 19 minutes of The Enid at their most powerful. Note that this version is based on the original album, NOT the re-recorded version issued on CD, which had some sections redone or replaced. I rate this the best version of these tracks - partly because the original has never been released on CD so is only available on second hand vinyl copies. Next up are some shorter tracks - 'Mayday Galliard' and some selections fron "Touch Me', here listed as 'Music From Charades'. Best of these is 'Cortege', with its military style percussion and trademerk Enid melodies. To finish up you get a 20 minute version of 'Fand'. And this is where I have some gripe with the CD release. This version (absolutely great though it is) was already available as a bonus on the CD release of 'The Spell' and its inclusion here means "Albion Fair' is missing, which I would have prefered to see on the CD. Apparently the live version of 'Albion Fair' is available on the 'Alternative History' CD's but I have never seen these for sale, so I'm stuck with my vinyl edition if I want to hear it. For this reason, and because a couple of the shorter songs aren't as strong as the rest I'm giving this 4 stars instead of 5, although the first 3 tracks would make it a five on their own in normal circumstances!
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Posted Sunday, February 27, 2005 | Review Permalink

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