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The Enid - Robert John Godfrey: Fall Of Hyperion CD (album) cover

ROBERT JOHN GODFREY: FALL OF HYPERION

The Enid

 

Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 47 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
5 stars He may have the appearance of a college professor with his long beard and studious expression, but ROBERT JOHN GODFREY is the main driving force behind THE ENID, the Symphonic Prog band that's been around now for well over 40 years. Although this album, "Fall of Hyperion" (1974), is billed as a Robert John Godfrey solo album, it's really an album by The Enid in all but name, and presumably, that's why this album is included at the beginning of The Enid albums roster on Prog Archives. Most importantly though, this album SOUNDS like The Enid, with all of the symphonic pomp and ceremony you might expect from such a distinguished Prog-meister as "Professor Godfrey". His first album release as The Enid, "In the Region of the Summer Stars"was released two years later in 1976, followed swiftly by the humorously-titled "Aerie Faerie Nonsense" album in 1977. This solo album "Fall of Hyperion" features vocals, although the first four albums by The Enid proper were all orchestral pieces with no lyrics. It wasn't until the release of the band's fifth album, "Something Wicked This Way Comes" in 1983, that lyrics were featured for the first time. Robert John Godfrey worked with Barclay James Harvest in the early 1970's before deciding to go solo. Godfrey and The Enid have 20 studio albums to their credit, and despite him being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2013, The Enid still continues to this day with many changes of line-up along the way. Although Robert John Godfrey has had to retire from touring due to his illness, he IS The Enid, because without keyboard maestro Godfrey ever- present at the helm, the band would never have existed.

The album opens in grand symphonic style with "The Raven". This anthemic piece of music is so extravagantly ostentatious in in all of its glorious pomp and splendour, that you may feel the patriotic urge to stand up and give a rousing rendition of "Land of Hope and Glory", or maybe the "Star Spangled Banner" if you're an American. Yes, it really IS that anthemic. It's booming, it's bombastic, and it's fantastic! You really have to hear it to believe it. This grand stentorian, orchestral symphony would have been equally at home as a magnificent finale to the album. And so, how do you follow up such a marvellous 9-minute album opener? You follow it with "Mountain", a 7-minute-long, energetic and euphonic piece of music with classical glissandos galore. Even classical music buffs couldn't fail to be impressed by this flawless fugue. This theatrical and emotionally uplifting music is like Renaissance with knobs on, where the dynamic and dramatic classical influences are even more in evidence. This is masterful Symphonic Prog taken to even more powerful extremes of classical greatness. Sailing onwards now on a patriotic wave of glory, comes the 6-minute "Water Song". You can expect to hear a profusion of grand- sounding keyboard runs on the piano with the ever-present full orchestra there in all of their magnificent power and glory. Side Two opens with "Isault", an emotional powerful song with all of the grand theatrics of a BBC costume drama. It's grandiose and spectacular and just what we've come to expect by now from such an accomplished keyboard maestro as "Professor Godfrey". And now we come to "The Daemon of the World, a 15-minute long 6-piece suite to round off the album in grand style. Listen in awe and be prepared to be swept away by the magnificent grandstanding on display here in this powerful symphonic opus. It's melodious and triumphal with constant changes of tempo, staccato breaks, and sparkling fast and slow keyboard runs. This marvellous finale is sure to delight fans of The Enid and the whole Symphonic Prog genre generally. There's even the stentorian sound of a pipe organ thrown in for good measure. What more could you ask for!?

A gloriously powerful album of passionate majestic anthems that's guaranteed to astound and delight fans of classically- inspired Symphonic Prog. This album might be described as overblown and pretentious (just like this review) by those who aren't in the know, but to prog aficionados, this is prog heaven! Let Robert John Godfrey carry you away to a Land of Hope and Glory in this unashamedly pompous and sonorous extravaganza. It's an absolute must-have album for connoisseurs and collectors of classic British Symphonic Prog.

Psychedelic Paul | 5/5 |

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