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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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Zac M
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I think that this album may just be the most controversial album in all of Progarchives. So many differing opinions, and in most cases, I can see where each reviewer is coming from. If you don't like classical (particularly Romantic a la Mahler or the like), then you most likely will not like this album. On their first release, The Enid created a masterwork, blending traditional rock aspects with classical music, but in that case, the album certainly "rocked." On Aerie Fairie Nonsense, there is very little "rock music."

I would say that Aerie Fairie Nonsense (by the way, the first album is also a masterpiece for me as well, just for the record) is much more ambitious than its predecessor, and obviously, it's typically a love it or hate it kind of experience. I remember I was once turned off from ever checking out who are now perhaps my favorite band because of very negative reviews for this album. It turns out, I was obviously VERY wrong to do so.

The album opens with "Childe Roland (A Hero's Life)." The epic guitar and keyboard sweeps are enthralling and engaging. Godfrey and crew were off to a magnificent start. The next piece is very Renaissancean (no, not the band) sounding. While shorter than most of the rest of the album (bar the interlude), it still stands out as a perfect instrumental piece by the band."Bridal Dance" is another classic; it was also one of the Enid tracks that made me realize how much I really needed to hear more of their stuff. The only problem I have (albeit too minor to even mention perhaps) is that on the intro on the rerecording, the keyboards sound a bit too 80s, which is very untypical of Godfrey, even for the 80s.

Then, the magnum opus begins, Fand (or the shorter Song of Fand, which was on the original recording of the album; it's shorter and only available live on CD format). This just may be my favorite epic piece of music ever, in any genre. Like I said at the beginning, it's hard to define this as rock music, and that may not sit well some listeners (see some of the above reviews), but for me, it's absolutely perfect. My personal favorite movement would be "The Grand Loving." All I can say is, "Wow." Fand certainly took a while to appreciate for me, and I would think that this would be the case for most people, so if you don't like it on first listen, you are not alone.

The Inner Sanctum rerelease has a 90's version of Fand performed by the new Enid lineup ('99). It doesn't beat the rerecording or the Song of Fand, but it is interesting in its own right. As some people have mentioned, the CD version isn't the LP version, but I have to say that if it's better, than it must be 10 stars because the rerecording is worth 5 at least. This album is more than just music, it is an experience, one I hope more people will delve into, a true masterpiece of modern music. Thank you, Mr. Godfrey.

Zac M | 5/5 |


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