When you review a brand-new album from The Enid, you certainly have to know something about their musical background. Otherwise, it’s impossible to compare their music to previous releases. Well, I listened a lot to prog music from the seventies, so for me it was relatively easy to conclude that the band didn’t change their musical style that much on Journey’s End. I could still enjoy the many classical influences on this concept album dealing with the relationship between the leaf and the tree, their coexistence as a whole and as individual entities: a rite of passage from birth to death.
As usual, Robert John Godfrey created a very orchestral sound with his keyboards. Also the lead guitar is still prominent and well-played in a very melodic way by newcomer Jason Ducker. Unlike previous albums, the only difference in the new line-up is the definite presence of Max Read’s vocals. He appears to be a very talented singer who sometimes used a vocoder or other effect devices to make his voice sound differently like a choir or as harmony vocals. Just like the band did on the albums recorded in the nineties we can enjoy some modern beats on Journey’s End. Space Surfing is a good example. On this track the original Enid-drummer Dave Storey didn’t play the standard rock rhythms. Every now and then the music has some resemblance with a band as Hawkwind, which surprisingly suits The Enid very well!
People who bought Arise And Shine (2009, see review) will discover that both albums contain the track Malacandra. This piece was recorded during the Arise And Shine-sessions and was added as a kind of bonus to that album. This time it gets in the right place of the album concept as it was meant to be. After listening to Journey’s End several times, I can only conclude that I’m glad The Enid made a come-back after such a long period of absence. During that period they didn’t release any new material at all. It’s a cliché, I know, but Journey’s End was certainly worth waiting for.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013