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The Enid

Symphonic Prog

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The Enid White Goddess album cover
3.92 | 62 ratings | 7 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prelude (3:21)
2. Fantasy (6:15)
3. Riguardon (4:49)
4. Sarabande (3:28)
5. Waltz (3:53)
6. Ballade (3:00)
7. Gavottte (1:51)
8. Chaconne (7:55)
9. Gigue (6:57)
10. Nocturne (11:33)

Total Time: 53:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Max Read / guitar, bass, chorus
- Grant Jamieson / guitar
- Robert John Godfrey / keyboards
- Dave Storey / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Robert J. Read

CD Mantella ‎- MNTL CD 16 (1997, UK)
CD Inner Sanctum - ENID010CD (2002, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy THE ENID White Goddess Music

THE ENID White Goddess ratings distribution

(62 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THE ENID White Goddess reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
4 stars Actually you should have to erase an half star at least, whenever I like to compare it to their previous strong works, cause of a different impact and a return to such already used "formula" as well, concerning the contamination between a sort of "Classical Music" and a mixed Classic Rock...well I want to refer my opinion to some creative albums like for example "Tripping The Light Fantastic" or that one- much older- entitled "Something wicked This Way Comes", which represented a new "road" to be runned within the "Progressive Scene":these latter albums, especially "Tripping The Light Fantastic" (dated 1994), were very different in comparison to the present one and also to their typical theatrical manner of introducing such Symphonic music to a crowd of common fans (those ones, I mean, not involved into this Symphonic/Theatrical Rock genre);but at the end- of course- you have to appreciate their music and to be quiet!!In fact their taste is always remarkable and, despite of not being regarded by the critics as a very creative or original band, during their new "proposal", their music is worth checking out at least. However The Enid are an immortal band and certainly you can hate or love their music: personally I like their stuff, but it depends on your tastes obviously...make your own choice anyway!!
Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the last original album released by THE ENID to date. Recorded in 1997, it was released in 1998 by Mantella Records and re-released in 2002 by Inner Sanctum. According to the sleeve notes this is an album with an ecological theme, although I couldn't have worked that out from the music itself. The list of people credited with inspiring the music includes Robert Graves, so I suppose the album title came from his book The White Goddess, but I see the white goddess as Gaia.

For those of you who are not familiar with the music of THE ENID, it's unique: a small group of rock musicians with Robert John Godfrey as the cornerstone and very much at the helm (talk about mixed metaphors!), using predominantly modern instruments but coming out with something that sounds similar to classical music played by a symphony orchestra. Godfrey is a wiz at using synthesizers and piano to this end. Not only that, but the compositions often follow classical music styles; just look at the titles of the tracks on this album: 'Fantasy', 'Waltz', 'Ballade', 'Nocturne' etc. But the group is not trying to be a classical orchestra, nor is it trying to parody one (well, not in a nasty way, anyway). And, lest you get the wrong idea, this is not classical music: the electric and bass guitars and the drums often play an important part.

I very much enjoy the 1977 "Aerie Faerie Nonsense", which I admit is OTT (intentionally so, I believe) and camp, but also unique and often delightful. The music on "White Goddess" is immediately recognisable if you're familiar with "Aerie Faerie Nonsense", but is not as camp and feels more measured. I won't say all the tracks are outstanding or memorable, but all of them are enjoyable and the album is a worthy follow-up to the group's early albums. That's quite something after more than 20 years. If you liked the early stuff you'll like this one too. And if you didn't like "Aerie Faerie Nonsense" you may well like this one, as it's more measured and mature. In fact, I think this album would be a better place to start if you've never heard anything by THE ENID.

There may not be (m)any jump-for-joy moments, but I think the whole package makes for enjoyable listening. If you're into Symphonic Progressive Rock and classical music then you may well like this album. If you like the early THE ENID albums then you certainly will. I'm going for 4 stars (excellent addition to any progressive music collection) on this one.

There's a small amount of choir on 'Gigue', but this is really an instrumental album. Here's a rundown of the tracks:

'Prelude' starts with the synthesised sound of a jet flying overhead and the swish and rattle of cars flying past. Then Gaelic 'pipes' sound, the 'tubas' blow and all the instruments of the 'orchestra' come in to build the sound, just as in a prelude.

This segues into 'Fantasy', which is delightful, actually. The guitar, bass and drums are a good foil to Godfrey's orchestral synthesizers and piano, and rock the track up nicely. Very heavy and distorted guitar is used in one short part. It still sounds like a classical composition, but different! Nice one.

'Riguardon' is a foot-tapper. It sounds slightly medieval and also slightly West Country (that's the south western part of England). It builds dramatically, and parts sound deliciously menacing, as if it were a choppy sea about to turn nasty. There's a guitar solo that emphasises that the group is not emulating classical music. I like this track very much.

'Sarabande' is a slow, calm piece, with some simple but nice guitar and synthesizer sounds in the background that are obviously meant to be whales. Very relaxing and melodic.

Read's 'Waltz' is. a waltz, and a slow one at that. It's pleasant and bops along sedately, full of 'strings' and 'flutes'. One-two-three, one-two-three. It's no musical masterpiece, but relaxing. Some Progressive Rock fans may at this point wonder what they are doing listening to this album. It's fine by me, though.

'Ballade' is dominated by piano (well, it really is a ballade, so what do you expect!), with 'strings' quietly backing. I really like this one. Again it's not a complex piece, nothing to do with Progressive Rock, but has a gorgeous melody and flow. Makes me feel a bit melancholic, actually.

'Gavotte' bops along like. well, a gavotte! Godfrey's synthesizers sounds convincingly like harp, flute and woodwind.

'Chaconne' has slightly more of a Progressive Rock feel. A slow, thumping, deep bass (well, it is a chaconne. etc.) with electronic-sounding synthesizer bubbling away and some slow, twangy guitar accompanied by wafting 'strings'. It sounds to me like it could be the theme tune for a holiday programme. I can almost see a schooner sailing away over turquoise waters and palms swaying on the shore.

'Gigue' is a fast number, very Irish in feel, a real jig and a foot-tapper. Lots of what sounds like bodhrán, with guitar and piano taking turns to lead. There is some choir work by Max Read in this track. There is a calm interlude and then off it goes again. Godfrey manages to get some 'horns' in there too. Nice one.

Godfrey's 'Nocturne' is a perfect nocturne. The lush sounds of a 'symphony orchestra' convey the stillness and quiet of the night. I could easily see a ballet solo danced to this. It's so relaxing and a good way to end the album.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars White goddess is pleasant album. After series of, well, let's say not so nice albums, I've remembered that this one made quite a big impression on me back in days when I was quite rave about The Enid. I have a soft spot for classical music and this is simply the same thing, except it's not orchestra, but synthesizers. Maybe it's nonsense to compare everything to my beloved Aerie, but really, as strong piece as A Heroe's Life is hard to find. So gifted, melodic, wild (but under control at the same time).

But OK, to be fair, in compare to my previous non-satisfied reviews (try to find them chronologically, Six Pieces and the other one (I accidentally forgot its name, as it's probably effect of alcohol that's confusing my mind, even I haven't drink any alcoholic drink and it's in fact just that I'm tired (few hours [1.5 to be exact] after midnight). To quite classic: "22 hours and 30 Minutes To Midnight" (laurels goes to Iron Maiden, not me)). OK, let's start text "before-Marty's-everlasting-brackets" again. I wanted to say that this one works when combined with my mind perfectly. Even it's just softer classical music (not death metal of classical like Wagner or Haydn), romantic like pieces, which would be probably played on piano or something.

I can easily imagine that these ones were not only inspired (I hope that CM was inspiration, as this with its every moment reminds me genre of music that I like quite a lot [or at least trying to get to know])., but also could be played with true orchestrated music. And it's not like London Philharmonic Orchestra take on rock classics, but it's true and you can easily fall into belief that this is more rock version (even especially this album is full of atmospheric moods and long passages (you know, pieces), that (surprisingly) works well here) of classical music itself. Nope, these should be original compositions of Godfrey, mastermind (quite a lot, when considering how much he did), who however was unknown to me since I hear The Enid on one prog radio (Delicious Agony is the one).

4(+), because even it's not the strongest crow in a crowd (the strongest and mightiest crowd from these is underdog Aerie Faerie, for me at least [of course for me, who else is reviewing right now, unless I suffer from schizophrenia]). Eyes are closing, music is closing by and all I'm left with is good feeling that I was listening nice music that for sure has prog elements. Where, which ? You know the stuff, it has already been said on other album reviews, so let's not spoil nice little story we've created here, awright ? Good, good. Good night

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I enjoyed this album from start to finish as it is a relaxing, soothing journey into neo classicism that obviously will not appeal to everyone, as there is not a sceric of rock on this. It is definitely symphonic and at times plays more as the soundtrack to a romantic movie than anything else. There are musical passages of sweeping grandeur and Godfrey's keyboards are everpresent and provide textures of melancholy ambience throughout. The Enid are outside the box when it comes to progressive music, and are all accomplished virtuosos, but take care with this type of album. It is totally instrumental, moves along slowly and patiently creating soundwaves of imagery and in effect is virtually akin to a soundtrack to a non existent film. You can put this on to send you to sleep or throw it on after a long day, or during a romantic dinner; but as far as intensely listening to this, I prefer something more complex such as Yes, VDGG, or King Crimson, and The Enid feel more like an orchestra than a band.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I am not sure where the border between neo-classic music and prog rock goes. This band is pretty much in the neo-classic music territory..... but still within a spitting distance from prog rock land. The problem here is that this type of music is pretty light. It is like one of my favorite dr ... (read more)

Report this review (#224208) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, July 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars How I haven't heard this before I don't know, but my brother bought me this and the original work of Proto-Kaw for my birthday the other day, knowing I heard neither. Both were wonderful. I have loved The Enid since their inception, especially the big, orchestral side of the mastermind Robert J ... (read more)

Report this review (#172392) | Posted by tmay102436 | Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Work of THE ENID released in 1998 "White Goddess". The content is a profound noble, keep romantic, symphony to recall the work in 70's. There is a natural intonation like the emotion in the expression, and straight romanticism is felt by me. And, it is, and doesn't exist like the lie of so-cal ... (read more)

Report this review (#60291) | Posted by braindamage | Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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