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The Enid - Aerie Faerie Nonsense (1983) CD (album) cover


The Enid


Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 118 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars "Aerie Faerie Nonsense" by The Enid followed up the excellent "In the Region of the Summer Stars". In a similar vein to this album the music is primarily orchestrated and symphonic throughout playing like the soundtrack to a movie. The electric guitars add a certain rock element but this is unmistakably layered with brass, violins and crashing drums; a rockhestra if you like. The opening track, 'A Heroes Life', does not waste time and locks immediately into a fast tempo symphony with majestic crescendos. Easily the best track on this.

'Ondine' is a slow paced piano driven piece with beautiful sweeping passages of woodwind, chimes and synthesizer. It feels like a fantasy romance and even melodies similar to Nutcracker Suite, or Beethoven. The harmonic guitars are definitely well played and enhance the overall atmospherics.

'Prelude (Interlude)' is replete with passages of horns similar to Wagner. This leads to the whimsical 'Bridal Dance' that is a ballet of pipes, electric piano, and synthesizers. The mood is frivolous and jovial, uplifting and pleasant.

'Fand' is a huge epic that is almost as long as half an hour, and features threatening powerful brass, changing the mood instantly to one of portentous doom. The deep tuba or euphonium blasts add a genuine atmosphere that doom will befall our hero. The dark forces close in as the horns fade out and then a lilting them chimes in, apparently a ray of light, a dance of colour amidst the murky blackness. A divine synth motif is heard, haunting and dreamy. The piece continues to build with loud crashes and staccato blasts of horns, and like sunlight bursting through clouds a huge orchestral arrangement is heard at 7:20, reminding me of Yes' 'And You And I'. The guitars are decidedly absent for the majority of the piece allowing the symphony arrangement to flourish. This for me was not necessarily a good thing as personally I prefer some rock to compensate for all the orchestra sounds. Vangelis sounds are heard on synth later in the piece at 10:22 and some Brian May sounding guitars but I was getting a little bored with it by this stage. There are some very quiet sections with little going on, and you will either love or hate these moments of breathing space. I was not a fan once again as the sparse arrangement was beginning to send me to sleep. There is no melody to hold onto and the ambience is extreme. It eventually builds towards the end, full on string sections of majesty are the order of the day here. It is definitely not my taste and I would not return to this epic often I can admit that. A simple guitar riff or synth motif would have helped but this is just violins, violins and more violins with a layer of brass; a real yawnfest.

So in conclusion the tracks on this album are satisfactory, I am especially fond of 'A Heroes Life', and 'Ondine', but the rest of this especially the second half of 'Fand' is in fact dull unless you are a huge fan of classical, which this reviewer is not. So I am going to pretend this is enjoyable to me. The Enid had an excellent release before this but they turned to full blown classical arrangements on "Aerie Fairie Nonsense" and I simply am not into this type of music. Consider yourself warned, it is not prog 'rock' in any sense of the word.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 2/5 |


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