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The Enid - U CD (album) cover

U

The Enid

 

Symphonic Prog

4.20 | 16 ratings

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kurtrongey
4 stars The Enid, who started as a staunchly classical/symphonic-rock band, has a very diverse catalog with all kinds of surprising artistic side paths into other genres and approaches that often torment their long time fans. So it's almost jarring to for them to release a new album that reverts back to their original style from 1976-77. It's strangely like a band paying tribute to themselves. Now, when I say "band" I'm really talking about Robert John Godfrey, the keyboardist-composer and primary creative force of The Enid from the very beginning. Joining him is guitarist Jason Ducker, who's on his 4th album as guitarist and co-composer. First-era drummer, and really maybe the most underrated drummer in all of 70s rock, Dave Storey is also along, mostly being restrained and supportive on this recording. As always, Godfrey sets a musical stage for gorgeous guitar playing, embracing the unique role that only an extremely impressive guitarist can perform. The sound world on U is that of their first two albums - elegant, delicate, wistful, and extremely grand in the climaxes. It begins with a slight mutation on the main flute theme from the title track of their first album, "In the Region of the Summer Stars," and then proceeds into an alternate but familiar universe, like one of those alternative history novels. Carrying on through the album, there's a Mahler march, some waltzing a la "Spring" from The Spell, a re-treatment of the basic idea of "Sheets of Blue" from Salome that's been transcendentally transformed and expanded. The album ends exquisitely with a slow, dignified melody in which Ducker's lyrical electric guitar playing is just so beautiful and expressive, then an appropriately grand coda. This is a band for whom getting back to basics results in something very un-basic. If it sounds like a rehash, well it is, but with the full conviction of some very sincere and accomplished music makers to produce a substantial and hopefully enduring work of art.
kurtrongey | 4/5 |

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