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The Enid

Symphonic Prog

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The Enid Godfrey & Stewart: The Seed And The Sower album cover
3.52 | 42 ratings | 4 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Chaldean Crossing (8:36)
2. A Bar Of Shadow (7:21)
3. La Rage (8:41)
4. Longhome (15:59)
5. Earthborn (8:07)

Total time 48:44

Bonus tracks on 1988 reissue (from "Salome")
- Dance Music (18:22):
6. The Change
7. The Jack
8. Flames of Power

Bonus track on 2002 reissue:
6. Reverberations (18:35)

Line-up / Musicians

- Stephen Stewart / guitar, co-producer
- Robert John Godfrey / keyboards, vocal Fx, co-producer
- Niall Feldman / bass
- Damian Risdon / drums, percussion

- Geraldine Connor / vocals - Mother Earth (5)
- Troy Donockley / low whistle

Releases information

Inspired by the book "The seed and the sower" by Laurens Van Der Post
Later reissues credit the album to The Enid

Artwork: Mike Inns

LP Self released - Enid 11 (1988, UK)

CD Self-released ‎- ENID CD 11 (1988, UK) With 3 bonus tracks
CD Inner Sanctum - ENID008CD (2002, UK) With a bonus track, new cover art

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE ENID Godfrey & Stewart: The Seed And The Sower ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE ENID Godfrey & Stewart: The Seed And The Sower reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guldbamsen
3 stars Hidden sapphire in the lotion

I have been a fan of The Enid of old ever since I encountered In the Region of the Summer Stars some 5 years ago, and fans of this particular period of the band will probably have some difficulties listening to The Seed & the Sower - I know I had...

First of all this record is pumped full of electronics - as in early 80s Tangerine Dream, Harald Grosskopf or Vangelis. In fact Vangelis probably is a fair reference point, as his later works often dabble in between the orchestral grandiose and what some people erroneously call new wave electronics. Robert John Godfrey just doesn´t sound like he did in the 70s, but then again we ARE visiting a progressive website aren´t we? You can still hear the heart of this guy though, as he sports one of the most characteristic synth approaches known to the northern hemisphere. It is very elegant and suave, and you can almost picture the hand lotion and flapping white doves accompanying his leads. This sounds like I´m making fun of ol´ Robert, but I´m not. 99.9% of the times I´d use a metaphor like that you´d be right, but not here.

This is very mystical music - one that flutters slowly around like a hungry vulture circling the skies looking for a rotting carcass. Either that or maybe the backwards hovering music here resembles those leafs that look like propellers, when they are torn from the tree descending towards the ground like a spinning ice figure skater.

The different usage of synths and keys on The Seed & the Sower much of the time mimic violins, cellos, flutes, clarinets and other instruments that takes you to concert halls and things that start with Royal or Philharmonic. This facet of the music doesn´t sound as chemical and clinical as one would imagine, and during my first spins - I actually thought this album was done with an orchestra and the works.

To be perfectly honest with you guys out there in computer land, if it wasn´t for the final track Reverberations, I´d most likely award this album with 2 stars. Granted the Longhome track really spices things up with some bombastic drums and guitars soaked in chilli - along with some pensive and bubbly electronics, but the other pieces here are more of a chill-out excursion - that probably only will satisfy those like myself with a soft spot for music that sounds like a mild attack of fluffy snow crystals.

Reverberations however is by far one of the most compelling and salivating modern symphonic pieces, I have ever come across. It sounds like the front cover of Tangerine Dream´s Rubycon. Yeah that sounds about right. Some kind of sonic monster growing into the universe, and leaving it behind for a new pair of trousers that actually fits. It´s a piece that breaths - it comes and rolls in large waves of notes that seem to soar freely on electronic winds and then plummet right down to earth again - piercing your body like a powerful low frequency bass - leaving your body like a shivering membrane - or like that Rubycon cover with the water drop clashing into the liquid surface. It is slow moving, and the way Godfrey utilizes the synths on here towers over the rest of the album like a tiger does a common house cat. They flicker about like small insects, but yet very controlled and hypnotic, and upon these a beautiful yearning BAH BAH is calling out in a nothingness that is so big and incomprehensible, that you´d need a new set of telescopes to watch how far into space these reverberations fly. On top of these cradling repetitions - the violin mimicking keys starts wailing and I get über chills that threatens my nipples with explosion. Reverberations is an astonishing example of music from the 80s, which is beautiful like the simplicity of decay and the colours of fall. This decade was a pillar of weltschmerz and morbid romanticism outside the top of the pops, and nowhere else will you find a more stunning rendition of these meanings than on here. If my blood, skin and soul could weep it would do so in a whirlwind of release to the sounds of Reverberations.

I am almost compelled to say, that you should get this album, if only for this last track. 3.5 stars.

Review by progpositivity
4 stars It is the late 1980s. "The Seed and the Sower" will be the last collaborative effort from composer/arranger/producer/keyboardist Robert John Godfrey (Keyboards) and co-composer/guitarist/engineer Stephen Stewart. A staid and weighty undercurrent will pervade this album, at times approaching what one might even describe as sepulchral - as if to mourn the end of an era for the band. All is not forlorn, of course as shining moments of hopefulness gleam all the more brightly against the darker backdrop this time around.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the opening track (Chaldean Crossing) is by far the weakest composition on the album. Even still, it has much to recommend itself. The track essentially transplants the general vibe and feel of Genesis' "Follow You Follow Me" into an instrumental number with a Caribbean island flavor. Unfortunately, the band takes what would have been an excellent idea for a catchy and memorable 4:30 single and extend it into an 8+ minute excursion into outcast regions of repetition. By the time the song finally fades into oblivion, we are not at all far from where we had initially begun. Although the piece had set an effectively restrained groove, little else of note can be said to have happened since. To be fair, this song remains a fan favorite to this day, so perhaps it was a reasonably effective "smooth prog lite catchy hit single" after all?

"A Bar of Shadows/La Rage" begins with a haunting whistle signaling the beginning of an extended atmospheric introduction that may test the patience of restless proggers still groggy from the monotony of the album's opener. Those willing to allow the track some time to slowly build, however, are soon rewarded with substantive melodic statements and development, rich harmonies, satisfying emotional tension and release along with a wide range of impressive late 1980's keyboard strings, woodwinds, harps and horns patches. It may be fun to keep track of each "virtual" clarinet or french horn as it gets added to the mix, but such pastimes soon give way to greater pursuits of music appreciation as Godfrey's genius as a contemporary composer and arranger becomes increasingly evident. Just the moment I became tempted to consider whether this piece might have been better suited to performance by a traditional symphony orchestra, I was greeted by an intelligently composed and integral guitar line which neither dominated nor suffered within the larger symphonic context, a feat far too rarely achieved because it requires not only careful forethought during the composition process but also because it requires a true ear for both rock and classical music. This perfect wedding of electronic with symphonic is worth the price of admission alone.

Unlike the previous pieces, "Longhome/Earthborn" wastes little time before making a very strong melodic statement. Tonality is varied and interesting. Again, the keyboard orchestration is pure genius. The lyrics are almost impossible to decipher. Also once again. lest we begin to wonder whether perhaps this work has little connection to contemporary rock music, conventional drums enter the scene. Bird sounds carry us to "Earthborn", a strong composition featuring the late internationally celebrated cultural and musical icon Geraldine Connor on vocals.

"Reverberations" indulges in a repetitious introductory passage before finally settling in to a very slow and beautifully haunting 5/4 dirge.

I recommend that symphonic minded proggers skip track 1 altogether (or at least tack it on at the end of the album rather than hearing it first and thereby allowing it to color their perception of the rest of this strong work). Better yet, begin with "Longhome/Earthborn", move on to "A Bar of Shadows/La Rage" and then soak in "Reverberations".

Latest members reviews

2 stars The Seed and The Sower is a concept work from The Enid, a band guided by Robert John Godfrey, the keyboardist from the Barclay James Harvest. Based on the 1963 book written by the Afrikaner Laurens Van der Post', it's a chill out album full of electronic stuff. Okay, the first half deserves ... (read more)

Report this review (#977220) | Posted by VOTOMS | Thursday, June 13, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Apart from the gentle African rhythms on the relatively upbeat opening track, this is very much music for lone listening. Definitely not easy listening folks. If you have read Van der Post's equally difficult but rewarding book or even seen the movie "Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence" you will u ... (read more)

Report this review (#25900) | Posted by | Wednesday, June 2, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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