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THE ENID

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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The Enid biography
British group THE ENID were formed around the founder/keyboardist Robert John GODFREY (BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST) and his fellow founder-members, guitarists Stephen STEWART and Francis LICKERISH in 1974. Almost like a combination of classical and rock, the band combined vast orchestral movements, exclusively classical instrumentation, rigourous construction completely well-written and romantic rock music led by composer Robert John GODFREY. For the most part the albums have some orchestrated sound, all created using the standard guitars, basses, keyboards and drums. THE ENID are probably the TOP of the symphonic tradition.

"THE ORB MEETS PINK FLOYD MEETS THE BERLIN PHILARMONIC"

Time Out

The only band on the planet to have successfully fused rock based music with the power, dynamics and scale of symphonic classical music. They are the absolute masters of their art and their achievements over more than twenty years of creative work set them apart from everything else which calls itself progressive.

THE ENID - In the beginning Part I (1972 - 1980)
In 1969 Robert John GODFREY (RJG for short) became of BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST (BJH) and it was he who developed the orchestra and co-wrote some of the music for which BJH are now so famous. He remained with BJH until 1971. At the end of 1972 he recorded a solo album on the Charisma label "The Fall of Hyperion" showed the musical foundations on which his future music with THE ENID would be built on. In 1974 he became friends with Steve STEWART and together with others they found the highly individual and now very respected rock band known as THE ENID.

They released their first album in 1976. "In the Region of the Summer Stars" is one of those epic symphonic progressive rock albums for the seventies that are a must for every serious collector of progressive rock. Two years later the group followed that release with "Aerie Faerie Nonsense". Fans of the "heavier" or jazzier side of progressive rock might find this album somewhat too classical. However for all those who love to hear majestic with broad classical ovetones, this album is a MUST. The group's third album was called "Touch Me" and was released in 1979. Once again there is the return of an amount of response between various rock and classical modalities, though the classical features are much more prominent. The last album in the first part of THE ENID's history, "Six Pieces" was released in 1980 with next to no promotion...
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In The Region Of The Summer StarsIn The Region Of The Summer Stars
Import
Operation Seraphim 2013
Audio CD$7.22
$11.81 (used)
Aerie Faerie NonsenseAerie Faerie Nonsense
Import
Operation Seraphim 2013
Audio CD$6.35
$9.99 (used)
InvictaInvicta
Madfish Records UK 2014
Vinyl$23.44
$41.00 (used)
Journeys EndJourneys End
Import
Ais 2010
Audio CD$13.20
$11.47 (used)
Stand 1984 Vol. 1Stand 1984 Vol. 1
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$6.00
$15.70 (used)
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More places to buy THE ENID music online Buy THE ENID & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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THE ENID shows & tickets


  • The First Light Show on 11 Oct 2014
  • The Enid at Spirit of 66, Verviers on 18 Oct 2014
  • Progdreams IV on 4 Apr 2015

THE ENID discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE ENID top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.46 | 26 ratings
Fall Of Hyperion - Robert John Godfrey
1974
4.20 | 178 ratings
In the Region Of The Summer Stars
1976
3.59 | 87 ratings
Aerie Faerie Nonsense
1977
3.57 | 54 ratings
Touch Me
1979
3.93 | 45 ratings
Six Pieces
1980
3.64 | 29 ratings
Something Wicked This Way Comes
1983
3.27 | 28 ratings
The Spell
1985
3.11 | 19 ratings
Salome
1986
3.40 | 24 ratings
The Seed And The Sower
1988
3.80 | 22 ratings
Tripping The Light Fantastic
1994
3.95 | 11 ratings
Sundialer
1995
3.84 | 42 ratings
White Goddess
1998
3.83 | 21 ratings
Tears Of The Sun
1999
3.88 | 15 ratings
Arise and Shine
2009
3.55 | 30 ratings
Journey's End
2010
3.65 | 23 ratings
Risen
2011
3.23 | 11 ratings
Shining
2012
3.87 | 127 ratings
Invicta
2012

THE ENID Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.62 | 17 ratings
The Enid - Live At Hammersmith (Volumes I & II)
1983
3.63 | 8 ratings
The Stand (1984)
1984
3.08 | 4 ratings
Liverpool Live
1986
3.91 | 11 ratings
Final Noise
1989
4.00 | 8 ratings
Live at Town Hall, Birmingham
2011
4.08 | 7 ratings
Live with The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & The Warickshire County Youth Choirs
2012

THE ENID Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.33 | 6 ratings
Something Wicked This Way Comes
2004
4.00 | 4 ratings
Live at Hammersmith Odeon
2009
4.50 | 4 ratings
Live at Town Hall, Birmingham
2010

THE ENID Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 4 ratings
The Stand (1985)
1985
3.75 | 4 ratings
Lovers And Fools
1986
3.60 | 5 ratings
Anarchy On 45 (Complete Singles Collection)
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Healing Hearts
1996
3.00 | 2 ratings
An Alternative History Volume 1
1998
3.00 | 1 ratings
An Alternative History Volume 2
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
An Alternative History Volume 3
1998
2.67 | 3 ratings
Sheets Of Blue. An Anthology 1975 - 2004
2006

THE ENID Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 3 ratings
Fand
1985
3.67 | 3 ratings
Members One of Another
1996
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at King George's Hall Blackburn 2010
2011

THE ENID Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sundialer  by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.95 | 11 ratings

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Sundialer
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by FXM

4 stars Sundialer is a bit of an oddity in The Enid's catalogue. It contains five tracks, four of there are reworkings/remixes of previous compositions, only the title track is a new piece. They have introduced a dance/electronic element to the music. When it was released in 2005 there was a mixed reaction from Enid fans and it is commonly regarded as one of their weaker works. However, I quite like it and it remains one of my favourite Enid albums.

Sundialer the title track and the only new composition starts off as a typical classical sounding Enid track then evolves into a more modern sounding piece with a dance beat - Enid music you almost could dance to if so inclined!!!! Although interspersed with some bursts of lead guitar and more classical passages.

Track two is Chaldean Crossing originally appeared on The Seed and The Sower from 1988. A nice mellow track.

This is followed by Dark Hydraulic one of my all time favourite Enid tracks. This was original on their previous album Tripping the Light Fantastic from 1994 (another superb album) I saw them play this live last year and they performed a blistering version of it - it was outstanding. The version on this album is a bit more subdued again with a bit of a dance beat but nevertheless it is a fine piece of music.

Track 4 is Ultra Violet Cat which was also from Tripping the Light Fantastic. This is a more of an electronic composition and is a mellow dreamy piece.

The final track is Salome 95 from of course the 1986 album Salome. This has some vocals but more as a sound effect than as song based lyrics and again has the dance beat in the background. Some may find this off-putting if they know the original well but it gives the track a different feel.

Overall it quite a relaxing mellow album.

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 Something Wicked This Way Comes  by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.64 | 29 ratings

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Something Wicked This Way Comes
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by Sheets of Blue

5 stars With the dawn of the eighties came more turmoil for The Enid. Most of the band members would end up departing for other musical ventures. By 1982, only two would be left to go on. Left to carry the burden were Robert John Godfrey (keyboardist) and Stephen Stewart (guitarist), who both would relocate to Clare, Suffolk, setting up a new recording studio, known as 'The Lodge'. Following years of legal battles, the duo set their sights on recording their first album as an independent band, now free of label interference. Rejoining the band was Chris North, who'd participate as a session drummer for the recording. New to an Enid record would be two things: the use of vocals, and the introduction of Stephen Stewart at lead guitar. With the pieces in place, The Enid would put out their highest selling LP yet.

Something Wicked This Way Comes continues the (unofficial) tradition of the concept album, this time being loosely based on nuclear war, and attempts to unmask the reality behind the situation and its potential impact on life as we know it. Album opener Raindown takes hold of said concept, and manages to capture the paranoia and fears of society over a six minute interval; Godfrey's vocals serve shroud doom-laden descriptions of the destruction brought forth by the bombs, and the subsequent fallout that comes with it. Jessica moves away from the frightening concept, to present a tribute the birth of friend's child, hence the title. Here, Stewart is given the spotlight, putting a joyous guitar track on tape. However, from then on, the nuclear war concept takes an absolute and firm grip on the album, and onto the listener. Then There Were None describes the raindown of the bombs, and the impact it has on a person, portraying a gruesome reality; while it seems like any of this wouldn't pan out well, it is able to work quite well.

On Something Wicked This Way Comes, something happens to be missing, and that particular thing is the prominent classical influence. Yes, while present on Jessica, it is hardly present, being discarded for a more pop-oriented sound, while staying true to the classic Enidian sound. Evensong continues in a mournful direction, while foreshadowing the motif of the title track. Bright Star and Song for Europe serve as the calm before the storm, the former being a reprise of sorts, as well being a rather serene track. The latter however, is much louder in dynamics, and builds up over time. Aggressive in theme, the overdubbed brass and woodwinds are very similar to Mike Oldfield's music; With the tribal pounding slowly fading out, the grand finale is only on the horizon. Something Wicked This Way Comes ends the album on a lengthy note, with there being a heavy focus on the trio. Gentle in introducing the epic, it only builds up to an emotional climax that puts each individual member in the spotlight, one by one. The comedown from said climax calmly ends the album, ending the beautiful piece in true Enid fashion.

Following the release of Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Enid would go on what would be their most successful tour yet. The 156 tour dates over Europe would prove essential to the band's success, allowing for Something Wicked This Way Comes to become their best-selling record yet, despite only being available at shows and by mail order. The success of the new LP would introduce The Enid to new audiences, attracting many due to its accessibility music-wise. Whereas previous albums focused both on individual aspects of the band, this album showcases the band's first group effort, with each member carrying the heavy load. The three year hiatus may have been what the band really needed to come back stronger than ever, and to release an album of this magnitude surely supports the claim. The one burning question however: could they keep the hot streak going?

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 Six Pieces by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.93 | 45 ratings

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Six Pieces
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by Sheets of Blue

4 stars Less than a year after the release of Touch Me, The Enid were once again in the studio, recording their fourth album, Six Pieces. In fact recordings took place with the band knowing that they would not have any financial backing from the label to promote the album, this become the band's first self-funded album. This would become the standard for the band, and still is to this day. Furthermore, the album was a departure from the lengthy pieces, with short, independent works taking its place. Once again, The Enid put forth a concept album (loosely speaking), this time about the band members themselves.

Opening the album is Punch and Judy Man, a schizoid piece of music, features the band at their rockiest, and is as close as the band would come to being actual progressive rock. A notable feature is the odd prominence of drums, supplied by newcomer Robbie Dobson. Once She Was, the band's interpretation of Scarborough Fayre (a traditional Yorkshire ballad), is marred by bland synthesizers, though it manages to pick up in the second half of the track. The Ring Master, while playful in melody, plods along for six minutes. The circus- themed track simply fails in capturing the interest of the listener, something rare for The Enid.

Sanctus, a religiously themed piece, has a heavy Vangelis influence to it, rather than the usual classical inspiration that is commonplace on The Enid's albums. Hall of Mirrors, the climatic piece of the album, hints at the use of an orchestra, though the piece is dominated by lush guitar work. The Dreamer, opens with layered effects akin to Albion Fair, though it is more percussive this time around. The main theme however, is what the title suggests, with everything moving at a languid and mellow pace. Nowhere to be found is the heavy percussion and the clashing of instruments, but only the marriage of the solemn keyboards and mournful guitars. It is the apex of not only the album, but of the original incarnation of The Enid.

As it was during the recording of Touch Me, Six Pieces was a rushed recording, even more than it was last time. It would be the last album the band would record for Pye Records, as they'd be dropped soon after the release of Six Pieces. Not long after that, guitarist Francis Lickerish would unsuccessfully try to take artistic control of the band. This would result in his departure, taking keyboardist William Gilmour with him in the process. For the time being, the loss of two vital band members would signal the end of The Enid.

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 Touch Me by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.57 | 54 ratings

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Touch Me
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by Sheets of Blue

4 stars With ever-growing fame in their homeland, The Enid was gathering quite the fanbase since the cult hits In The Region of the Summer Stars, and Aerie Faerie Nonsense. The Enid's growing popularity would gain them a spot on the roster of Pye Records, being one of the most expensive signings by the label. The band was even promised to have its own studio to work in. But financial problems would cripple the label, and was taken over by new management, rushing the band to record a new album. Over two months in 1978, Touch Me was recorded, and was released the following year.

Touch Me, another ambitious album by the band, consisted of two side-long suites, the first being the 22-minute long Charades, cut into four movements. Among the suite were intensive preludes, orchestral interludes, and well done melodic instrumentation. Immediately, the medieval influence heard on Aerie Faerie Nonsense returns once more on Humouresque, the first movement. Cortege, a funeral march, picks up the oboe melody hinted at in the previous movement, added with Renaissance-like drumming. Elegy, a more laid back piece, is more of a solo piece akin to The Lovers from the debut album. Gallavant, the final movement, brings back the upbeat feel of Humouresque, with a dramatic twist added in for good measure. The theme seems to be taken from Bruckner, though the arrangements are as lush one can imagine an Enid arrangement could be.

Albion Fair, a single 16 minute long piece takes up the entire second half of the album. The first part of the suite shows a rather different aspect to The Enid, with the usual lush orchestrations being ditched for a series of soundscapes and overdubs, giving the music a psychedelic touch. Comparisons to Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh can be made here rather than classical composers such as Mahler or Bartok. The second part is by far the most complex of the musical arrangements that one finds on the album, if not throughout the band's history. Once again we get the polyphonic classical structures as rock band and classical orchestra clash together, at times bonded by the same theme. However one of the main features of this track is the variety of moods that it is able to convey.

Touch Me, a rushed affair by The Enid, managed to expand upon the themes displayed on its predecessors. However, the fact it was recorded in only two months and in their own home studio showed an obvious drop in quality compared to the albums before it. Problems with the sound quality, as well as the two suites being a tad bit too ambitious put a crutch on the album in general. In the situation the band was in, they put in a respectable effort. The tour for the album would do it justice though; similar to Genesis' And Then There Were Three. Unfortunately, the aforementioned financial problems would cause further problems for The Enid. And even touring wouldn't get them out of the inevitable.

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 Aerie Faerie Nonsense by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.59 | 87 ratings

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Aerie Faerie Nonsense
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by Sheets of Blue

5 stars A year after In the Region of the Summer Stars, came what was considered by critics and fans alike to be the group's masterpiece. Enter Aerie Faerie Nonsense. Ever-growing in popularity, The Enid stunned many with another concept album, this time based on the medieval legend of Roland, and his quests across Europe, as well as the Irish myth of Fand, a sea goddess known to be Queen of the Fairies; she also the inspiration for the well-liked cover art as well.

Opening with Mayday Galliard, a fanfare heralds the commencement of the album, before heading off into an elegantly uplifting theme, with Godfrey's keys leading the band as if he were a maestro, with a cluster of instruments being the orchestra, playing the joyful and rather playful piece. Ondine, a more acoustic piece, moves away from the brass arrangements, with soft strings and light wood sections coming in, giving a medieval touch to it. Childe Roland, comes crashing in with music well suited for a prelude to a battle, with the accentuation of the guitars and percussion and the stupendous string section, making for one of the band's more energetic tracks.

The sixteen-minute, side-long epic, Fand, is based on Sir Arnold Bax's The Garden of Fand, a symphonic poem. Fand tells the tale of Fand and her lover, Cuchulainn. This love, however, is short-lived, when Emer grows jealous and attacks the couple. Fand sees that Emer is worthy of Cuchulainn, and upset by their affair, so Fand chooses to leave him, never to meet Cuchulainn again.

The track, separated into two movements, reflects well on the myth, with the first movement portraying the meeting of the lovers and the growing jealousy of Emer, chockfull of romantic strings and the latter movement depicting the separation of the couple, giving a melodramatic finale to the suite, and the album as well.

Aerie Faerie Nonsense gives the listener what they want with a twist: progressive music with heavy classical overtones, from the grand Mayday Galliard, to the epic Fand. The Enid not only managed to dish out another classical masterpiece, but also made it about as good, if not better, than In the Region of the Summer Stars. Unfortunately, just as good times came to The Enid, something horrible arose, throwing the band into financial despair.

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 In the Region Of The Summer Stars by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.20 | 178 ratings

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In the Region Of The Summer Stars
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by Sheets of Blue

5 stars 1976: Progressive rock was nearing its final stages of life, with the punk scene growing ever larger, taking its firm grasp not only on Britain, but on the music industry as well. Acts such as The Sex Pistols proclaimed their hatred for groups such as Pink Floyd, and the ideas of progressive rock in general. What does The Enid have to do with all of this? Well, The Enid has been said to be a 'marmite' band, you either love them or you hate them. This, along with founder Robert John Godfrey's dismissal of the label 'progressive rock', but rather a group with a heavy classical influence, helped the band avoid being outed as just another progressive rock band.

In The Region of the Summer Stars fully embraces this influence, with hints of Brahms and Rachmaninov all over the album. This influence not only gained them a cult following, but respect from the punk-dominated music scene as well. In the Region of the Summer Stars, a concept album, follows the writings of Charles Stewart and the tarot cards. However, the concept focused on the Major Arcana, or trump cards.

Fool'The Falling Tower, the opening piece, takes several cues from Bartok, introducing the listener with an eerie piano overture, only for guitars to intervene with a Middle Eastern melody building the track up, backed by well-timed piano interludes and impressive percussive work. To great effect is classical music infused with rock elements, helping Godfrey and The Enid stand out amongst their peers.

Death, The Reaper, shows a harsher side to The Enid, with a full blown orchestral sound taking the helm. The Lovers, a romantic piece, showcases Godfrey's skills as a pianist, with great use of harmonics and melody, and also proves just how deserving Godfrey is to be up there with the greats like Vangelis and Rick Wakeman. The Devil showcases the guitarists Francis Lickerish and Stephen Stewart, playing rather frippian parts with many odd effects being used on the track as well.

The Sun begins a suite of sorts, with a relaxing trumpet solo bringing forth the calm before the storm. The Last Judgment creeps in, with a percussive introduction similar to Holst's Mars. One by one, the instruments come in, building up further and further to a massive crescendo, led by the chants of "Dies Irae", the climax of the album. In the Region of the Summer Stars, the finale, creates a sense of peace and joy, with a twin guitar section picks up the theme of the piece, shifting it around various instruments, such as the flutes giving a vibrant feeling to the track. Halfway through the tracks appears a power chord followed by a magnificent solo, before segueing back into the main theme, gently fading out not too long afterwards.

With a challenging concept such as the tarot cards, In The Region of the Summer Stars manages to execute the concept flawlessly, showing that progressive rock still had a place in a punk-dominated scene, even if Godfrey dismissed the progressive labeling, as well as not being that well known group outside Europe. In the Region of the Summer Stars is something worth listening to, not only for its challenging concept, but for its timeless music as well.

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 In the Region Of The Summer Stars by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.20 | 178 ratings

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In the Region Of The Summer Stars
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

5 stars Not an album for everyone, not an album for any time, an artistic expression unlike many others. A sound so vivid and epic at the same time, conceived in these often rainy and gloomy parts of the world, though still expressing a melancholia and optimism at the same time, round about the region of the summer stars...

An unconventional soundtrack for summer and winter, the first album under the The Enid moniker bears more resemblance to the music of Ennio Morricone, rather than "typical" progressive rock of the 70's. Classical music re-invented? Possibly. In fact, listening through its (sadly, only) 39 minutes, sceneries and movie excerpts come in mind, via pompous orchestration, sliding guitar phrases, dreamy piano and flute parts. The mood shifts quite often from the epic/grandiose/scary (yes, that too) to total tranquility and back again to complete the dance of emotions. If I had to look for references in prog rock, then those would be early Genesis and Renaissance.

The "vintage" feeling is portrayed in "The Lovers" and "The Sun", the adventure in "Fool/The Falling Tower" and "The Devil" in haunting atmospheres, and the climax is reached (intentionally?) in the closing two compositions, unraveling the quality and inspiration behind this record.

Beware: I find myself listening to this on repeat for numerous times and the same effect might have on you. You have been warned.

5 (rainy) summer stars

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 In the Region Of The Summer Stars by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.20 | 178 ratings

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In the Region Of The Summer Stars
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings

4 stars First let me state that I am reviewing the 2012 remaster of the original 1976 album and not the 80's re-recording.

I am always excited to read about other symphonic rock bands of the 70s and when I read about the Enid in Stephen Lambe's book "Citizens of Hope and Glory: The Story of Progressive Rock" I was eager to give them a listen. After some sneak peeks (or sneaks listens) to samples of songs on Amazon, I ordered the album and I was not disappointed.

Most surprisingly is that while Yes and some other bands were recording rock music in a symphonic vein, the Enid appear to have been recording symphonic music in a rock vein. All tracks except for "The Lovers" (a piano solo) feature symphonic instruments with drums, bass, and electric guitar being just instruments in the symphony and not comprising a rock band that is playing with a symphony. For a debut album, the music is remarkably bold and complex. From the beginning, Robert Godfrey wanted this band to do things differently from other rock bands.

Aside from "The Lovers" which is beautiful but a little dull to me, the album is very enjoyable to listen to from start to finish. I normally have great impatience when listening to a new album as I want to find the songs I like the most and listen to them a lot. However, with "In the Region of the Summer Stars" I had a difficult time whittling down the number of songs to three or four favourites. I can now say that I enjoy "Fool / The Falling Tower", "The Devil", "The Last Judgement", and the title track best, but mention should go to "The Sun" and "Death, the Reaper" which I also enjoy still.

This is not an album for everyone and I am surprised that I like it as much as I do. But this is one of those albums that really illustrate just how far progressive rock bands could go even in 1976 when prog is said to have been on its way out of fashion.

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 Touch Me by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.57 | 54 ratings

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Touch Me
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The Enid were surprisingly one of the few prog bands with a growing fame during the second half of the 70's.In 1977 keyboardist William Gilmour was introduced to the group in the place of Charlie Elston.Terry King, the manger of the band, succeeded to make a deal with PYE Records at the time, one of the most expensive signings by the label.The band was even promised to have its own studio to work in.However things would go wrong from this point.PYE's boss Lew Grade was facing huge financial problems, the result was that the label was taken over by an inconvenient management, which pressed The Enid to record a new work.In December 78' the band entered their own home studio in Hertfordshire and recorded ''Touch me'' in a two-months period.The album was eventually released in 1979, featuring also Tony Freer on oboe and cor anglais.

Despite the hard period the band was facing during the recordings, ''Touch me'' ended up to be a very good album and one of the most ambitious The Enid ever created.It consists of two sidelong suites, the first being the 22-min. long ''Charades'', divided in four movements.Again the ability of Godfrey and company to combine romantic Classical Music with Rock is just phenomenal.Filled with intensive piano preludes, orchestral interludes and melodic electric instrumentation, the arrangement comes as one of the best in The Enid repertoire.Pompous, dramatic but also highly melodic, it mixes the fundamentals of Classical Music with both grandiose and laid-back orchestrations with the complexity of Progressive Rock, featuring the elegant guitar work of Steve Stewart and the impressive dual keyboard deliveries of Godfrey and Gilmour, mainly performed on organ and harsichord.Side 2 is taken by the 16-min. ''Albion Fair'' in a quite similar but more haunting style.''Part 1'' is an almost psychedelic, long introduction, based on keyboards, piano and strings with a somewhat spacey feeling, which works as an extended intro to the pompous and longer second part.This comes with more evident Classical-influenced arrangements and less Rock elements (at least on the guitar parts), but the music remains at an extremely high level with constant breaks and rapid changes, even if we are talking about pure Orchestral Music in a significant deegree.The soft moments follow again a very romantic path of orchestral passages, the more pompous ones are absolutely bombastic and powerful.A more pronounced guitar/bass/drums flavor would be welcome, but even so ''Albion fair'' stands as an incredible piece of complicated Classical-based Rock Music.

Another solid album by The Enid, a band refusing to sell out in front of the upcoming Punk and Disco fashion.The first part of ''Albion fair'' somewhat lowers the consistency of this release, the rest of the album though is very good, cinematic Symphonic Rock of high quality.Strongly recommended, you can even chase down some of the interesting reissues, most of which contain a fair amount of extra material...3.5 stars.

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 The Seed And The Sower  by ENID, THE album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.40 | 24 ratings

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The Seed And The Sower
The Enid Symphonic Prog

Review by progpositivity
Prog Reviewer

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".

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