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The Enid

Symphonic Prog

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The Enid The Spell album cover
3.35 | 59 ratings | 5 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

- The Spell :
1. Winter "The Key" (8:31)
2. Spring (6:51)
3. Summer (13:44)
4. Autumn "Veni Creator Spiritus" (9:48)
5. Elephants Never Die (5:14)
6. The Sentimental Side of Mrs James (3:14)

Total Time 47:22

Bonus track on 1986 & 2009 CD releases:
7. The Song of Fand (live) (19:03)

Line-up / Musicians

- Stephen Stewart / guitar, synth, vocals, co-producer
- Robert John Godfrey / keyboards, vocals, co-producer
- Glynn Evans / bass
- Dave Storey / drums & percussion

- Francis Lickerish / guitar (7)
- Martin Wallis / keyboards (7)
- Tony Freer / keyboards & woodwind (7)
- Terry Pack / bass (7)
- Dean & Matthew / percussion (7)

Releases information

Artwork: Keith Noble

2LP Self-released - Enid 8 (1985, UK)

CD Self-released ‎- ENID CD8 (1986, UK) Bonus track recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, March 1979
CD Inner Sanctum - ENID006CD (2009, UK) With a bonus track, as above
CD Operation Seraphim ‎- EWCD04 (2010, UK) Remastered

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE ENID The Spell ratings distribution

(59 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE ENID The Spell reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
3 stars The ENID are one of those "Hate em or Love em" type of bands with this music lover camping on the "love em" side. This was the 6th album from Robert John Godfrey and Stephen Stewart mixing 6 wonderful symphonic tracks and 1 killer live 20 min epic "Song Of Fand". As with all of The ENID's music we are treated to a real collaboration of classical, symphonic and rock genres. Both Godfrey and Stewart perform keyboards and synths with these dominating the album. The overall feel is very lush and tranquil with some grand swoops and mystical melodies. At this time in their career, The ENID had added full time member David Storey (drums) as well. Vocals for the ENID are quite interesting with the fine lead vocals of Godfrey and the background 1950's sounding harmonies.

Overall "The Spell" is a great little album with some very creative art rock and progressive musical moments.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Despite a 'The Enid' name on the album covers and the fact they were all issued on 'The Enid' label, the eighties albums from these guys are really all duos with Robert John Godfrey and Stephen Stewart, accompanied as necessary (or when possible) by a few friends and acquaintances. I can't point to something specific that is lacking musically in this lineup, but in the end after playing these records many times I have to say that they just don't capture the same spark the band had when it was an actual band.

While some of their seventies records tended to be a bit more lush in terms of their musical arrangements and variety of instrumentation, Godfrey does a decent job during these middle years for the band by simulating just about every non-guitar sound needed on his keyboards (although Dave Storey does return once again to provide percussion). The record starts off giving the impression its going to be another all-instrumental like their first four albums as "Winter" launches the record with a series of flourishing fanfares before settling into a rather laconic orchestral work. The transition to "Spring" is abrupt and awkward, and the arrangement is repetitive and not particularly noteworthy.

Godfrey seems to have become enamored of vocals and their potential to turn synthesized classical music into somewhat of a campy stage production almost halfway through the album when he starts in with his Gollum-like crooning on the "Summer" movement of the four seasons 'symphony' that dominates this record. Stewart jumps in almost immediately, and the two of them sound a bit like the Eric Woolfson-era Alan Parsons vocals but with a more classical feel to the music. Those who are familiar with 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' will immediately recognize the same style on this track.

"Autumn" is almost all synthesized with very little guitar as both Godfrey and Stewart spend most of their time behind their respective keyboards while Storey offers grandiose and striking percussive flourishes throughout. This is much more like the music that endeared the band to fans in their earliest years and I would say is the strongest composition on the album as a whole.

I suppose "Elephants Never Die" was added to give the album some length, and once again it comes off as a stage production full of campy vocals and guitar riffs, and in the end doesn't quite fit with the rest of the music on the album.

The closing "The Sentimental Side of Mrs. James" is a requiem to a son lost at sea, and offers possibly the best blend of Godfrey's vocals with the unique classically-inspired Enid sound. A nice ending to a somewhat uneven studio work.

But for fans who have the CD version this isn't quite the end, as Godfrey and Stewart include a lengthy live version of the band's signature song "The Song of Fand" (aka as just "Fand") to fill out the disc. This is a great example of the band at their finest and one of the better 'bonus' tracks I've heard on a CD in quite some time.

The Godfrey/Stewart incarnation of the Enid doesn't have quite the range of the original band, but overall this is a whole lot better than just about any contemporary rock that came out around the same time and arguably better than most of the sparse catalog of prog rock available from the eighties. Not the finest work from The Enid, but worthy of three (out of five) stars and worth picking up by fans of the band.


Latest members reviews

3 stars I bought the original vinyl version of this album. It came on two 12" 45rpm discs, in an effort to improve the recorded quality and dynamic range from the disc. In technical terms, it largely works, and the dynamic range on this album is astonishing for vinyl, but the problem is that this makes it ... (read more)

Report this review (#2934713) | Posted by Albert H | Tuesday, June 20, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars THE ENID is a unique band that most thoroughly fused classical romanticism with rock but sometimes closer to musical and "new age" (similar to VANGELIS). Harmonized vocals in "Summer" and "Elephants Never Die" remind me also of QUEEN (although the lead vocal is less pleasant). The music on th ... (read more)

Report this review (#73397) | Posted by terramystic | Wednesday, March 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "The Spell is a musical allegory in which the seasons are used to depict the cyclic nature of all things" That's how Robert John Godfrey sums up the meaning behind this enchanting yet dark album. The first track 'Winter: The Key' opens with a series of fanfares, each one culminating in the "Dr ... (read more)

Report this review (#25896) | Posted by The Mentalist | Wednesday, July 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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