Enneade -
Withered Flowers And Cinnamon

(CD 2022, 37:17, Vallis Lupi VL05)

The tracks:
  1- A Foul Taste Of Freedom(9:21)
  2- Illumination(7:27)
  3- Tinkling Forks(4:40)
  4- Grand Buffet(3:36)
  5- Autumn(12:13)

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Enneade is a French progressive rock group hailing from Lyon, which was formed in 1995. This five-piece progressive rock band recorded and self-released three demos: Shades Of Death (1996), King Of Silver (1998) and Tunis Area (2001). Four years later Enneade released their debut album called Remembrance and that album featured only four long tracks clocking between ten and eighteen minutes! In 2011 they released their second full album. Titled Teardrops In Morning Dew and was reviewed on our website (see review).

Now, eleven years later, the five Frenchmen Julien Fayolle (bass, upright bass, Chapman Stick, Moog Taurus, glockenspiel), Christophe Goulevitch (guitars), Christian Greven (vocals, backing vocals, keyboards), Frédéric Lacousse (drums, percussion, marimba, xylophone) and Georges-Marc Lavarenne (electric and acoustic guitars, Mellotron, backing vocals) have recorded a new album, consisting of five new tracks. If you listen to this album for the first time you will be completely confused as the music of Enneade is a kind of very weird blend of influences from bands like Opeth, King Crimson, Genesis, Pain Of Salvation, Anathema and Jethro Tull.

Withered Flowers And Cinnamon (a strange title already...) starts with the song A Foul Taste Of Freedom, a very experimental track, clocking just over nine minutes, filled with acoustic guitar passages/ melodies and typical vocals, reminding me of mister Ian Anderson of Tull. Follow up Illumination, by far the best track of the album, opens with a Genesis-like intro of acoustic guitars and vocals, while in the in the middle of this one, you, the listener is treated to a furious guitar solo. Tinkling Forks (featuring the “wonderful” instrument the marimba...) and Grand Buffet are both very weird, chaotic, and experimental songs, which I advise you to skip right from the start.... Enneade's third album ends with their longest song of the album called Autumn, which opens with a way too long intro of percussion and, again, acoustic guitars, before it evolves into a boring so-called progressive song with an awfully long, and utterly boring, saxophone solo done by Olivier Sola!

So, conclusion: only two good tracks, being the first two, two utterly weird ones and the final track is way too long and too experimental and most of all chaotic. Not my progressive rock cup of tea in fact and pardon my French....

**+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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