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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's A Winner
I have been an Enid fan since their early days and much prefer their earlier work. I came to this new album unsure about the addition of a singer - mainly because earlier attempts to add this to the classic Enid sound have been a bit hit and miss,
But, in all honesty Invicta is a beautiful album and one that takes the band into new realms.
The layers of sound...
Published 20 months ago by WOODY

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Enid reinvent themselves (again!)
I really wanted to love this, because clearly a lot of time and effort has gone into it. I wanted to proclaim that it fulfilled all the promise shown by Journey's End. But I'm sorry, Enidi, Guardian readers, fans, I'm afraid I can't enthuse much.

While I prefer The Enid's music to be purely instrumental, and feel their best work - Aerie-faerie nonsense from the...
Published 18 months ago by Archy


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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's A Winner, 12 Nov 2012
This review is from: Invicta (Audio CD)
I have been an Enid fan since their early days and much prefer their earlier work. I came to this new album unsure about the addition of a singer - mainly because earlier attempts to add this to the classic Enid sound have been a bit hit and miss,
But, in all honesty Invicta is a beautiful album and one that takes the band into new realms.
The layers of sound are indeed haunting in places but the album is not without humour as well as power and emotion.
I still have my doubts about the addition of vocals to earlier works but this album is indeed a revelation and one I heartily recommend to one and all.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flourish, 30 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Invicta (Audio CD)
The 21st century Enid have pulled off a clever trick with Invicta. It manages to sound like an Enid album, whilst avoiding self parody.

Significant credit for this must go to new vocalist Joe Payne, who brings a new, distinctive style. Theatrical with a dash of eccentricity, for instance the first epic length song being mostly in falsetto. Villain of Science reminds me a little of the melodrama of something like Jesus Christ Superstar, in the vocal delivery. Just right for the Enid. I think they miss the bizarrely arresting tones of Steven Stewart's unique lead guitar. But Payne's veneer of wackiness redresses the balance nicely.

Guitarist Jason Ducker maybe suffers from some expectation to recreate the Stewart sound, but to me is at his best when bringing his own style. Reflected best I think again on the VOS track - at least on first few listens.

Like most Enid fans here it seems, for me this album is a joy, and in the unpredictable world of the Enid, a blessed relief! Personally I always liked a good dose of vocal tracks on an Enid album, e.g. I rate Earthborn as easily the stand out track on Seed and Sower. Invicta makes me think of it as a kind of fulfillment of the promise for a proper vocal album hinted at by the direction Something Wicked was taking, three decades ago, which never quite came to pass with what came after. 2010's Journey's End was great, I really like Max Read's vocals there. But without wishing to be unkind sounds a bit like a Read suite with a RJG makeover. Invicta has 'band' written all over it.

I suppose the quirkiness of the Enid appeals to my own trait in that dept. Perhaps that is why I am enjoying listening to the Invicta tracks in reverse order! (Try it, don't mock it.) I think it works a treat that way, especially when you add 'crossfade' on your pc, with the choral crescendo of One and the Many a fitting finale.

Oh, and surely the best Enid cover artwork we've seen! Looks proper proggy and grandiloquent, as befits an Enid product.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Enid Album Yet, 12 Nov 2012
By 
Mr. Sf Walker (West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Invicta (Audio CD)
I listened to the whole album after hearing the snippets, hoping that it would indeed be the masterpiece that was hinted at.

After several listenings I think that the whole album is totally stunning, a complete tour-de-force and so imaginative in its composition, delivery and production.

Masterpiece is a very apt description.

It blew me away with its sheer dynamism, contrast and complexity.

Joe Payne's vocals integrate superbly with the whole concept and create an ethereal atmosphere in sharp counterpoint to the faster heavier passages.

Jason Ducker's guitar work is smoothly delivered, skillfully intricate and sends shivers down the spine in some pieces.

Dave Storey and Nic Willes deliver such energy on rhythms to drive the album along.

Max Read's layered vocals and production are superb, complex and multivalent. To sat that the band record and engineer their music in their own studio is testament to Max's skill as an engineer, achieving astounding a sound quality often only produced by major studios operating on huge budgets

All parts of the album bear Robert John Godfrey's guiding hand and hallmark keyboard talent. His composition and musical ethos permeate the whole, linking this album of the Enid's future to the best of their past.

I can't single out a favourite at this stage, they are all so wonderfully different.

This is a magnificent effort from all concerned. The current line up have all raised the bar and taken the Enid to a level that couldn't even have been dreamed of in past years.

Having followed the Enid since 1975 I can say with some authority that this is absolutely their best offering to date and will give years of listening pleasure.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting new direction that keeps all the old magic, 13 Jan 2013
By 
Mr. M. P. Mclester (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Invicta (Audio CD)
When I first heard Invicta I had exactly the same reaction as when I heard Something Wicked This Way Comes for the first time on the Tommy Vance show back in the eighties - I wasn't sure what to make of it, but then after a couple of plays it began to grow on me. Any attempt I make to review the album won't do it justice, suffice to say I now love Invicta and have played it many, many times. To hear samples just go to theenid.co.uk or type in the enid on youtube - if your ear is like mine, it'll repay your investment many times over.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masters at work, 27 Nov 2012
This review is from: Invicta (Audio CD)
When I got the CD, I immediately ripped it to FLAC, put it on my portable player, put my headphones on, and lay down, ready to hear what The Enid had to offer this time round.
Upon hearing about Joe entering the fray, I wasn't really excited, but I have to say he is amazing on this album, and my conceptions were false. His operatic vocals really do shine with vast falcetto vocals, especially on the likes of the first track, One & The Many. He has no issues singing in standard vocal ranges either. This track also happens to be my favourite.

I'm now on my second listen through, as it ended in my opinion too soon, which only goes to show how much I enjoyed it.

The entire album has something to it which wasn't on the last 'Journey's End' album. Something a lot more magical, and inspiring. Don't get me wrong, Journey's End had some great tracks, including my personal favourite of it, Terra Nova.

The orchestral nature of the album is to die for too, with the whole orchestra placed almost at your finger tips, with simply breathtaking reverbs and clarity, and as always, fantastic piano playing, producing a truly fantastic sound stage, amist the choirs and Joe's singing.
If you have listened to the album, thinking the orchestra is a real one, you have been fooled!

If I have to produce out of a hat a negative point, it would have to be the fact only one complete instrumental track exists with no vocals, called Heaven's Gate. I enjoy vocals, but with The Enid, I tend to love the instrumental stuff. Robert really knows his stuff when it comes to creating compelling music that shines, creating beautiful melodies, with amazing synth sounds and orchestra intertwined. It's something different, and I love that.
Joe's operatic vocals in a sense, add a musical instrument not heard before on an Enid album, so doesn't take anything away.
As I said, I love the second track, One & The Many.

All in all, a great album that must be listened to with all distractions switched off, a comfy seat or bed, and with headphones, or an amazing speaker system.
Listening to this album on anything less wouldn't be doing it justice. It needs to be listened and enjoyed, and not put as the background to whatever is going on around you at the time.
Listened to as a whole is how this should be played. Give yourself an hour, and give it a listen.
Do this, and you will be taken someplace else; for as long as the album lasts anyhow!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Enid reinvent themselves (again!), 23 Jan 2013
By 
Archy (ALTRINCHAM, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Invicta (Audio CD)
I really wanted to love this, because clearly a lot of time and effort has gone into it. I wanted to proclaim that it fulfilled all the promise shown by Journey's End. But I'm sorry, Enidi, Guardian readers, fans, I'm afraid I can't enthuse much.

While I prefer The Enid's music to be purely instrumental, and feel their best work - Aerie-faerie nonsense from the early days and White Goddess more recently - to be without vocals, I don't have an objection to a singer per se. And Joe Payne can certainly sing. Sadly, though, I find that his airy, ethereal, oh-so-clearly-enunciated voice to be curiously passionless; at any rate, it leaves me quite cold. Maybe the fact that I hate opera has something to do with it.

It might not have mattered. The Enid haven't exactly been blessed with great vocalists over the years! Here, however, the music seems subservient to the vocal extravaganza. And even the instrumental passages seem rather derivative of earlier Enid music. Heaven's Gate, for example, the only instrumental piece here if you discount the (admittedly) impressive, short opener, while an enjoyable listen, doesn't exactly make you sit up and take notice. It seems rather emasculated, in fact, the fine guitar sounding rather weedy. I find this odd, considering the amount of work that must have gone into the production.

The other thing that really puts me off the album is the lyric content. Whilst I can't deny that Joe has a good voice, albeit one not to my taste, his lyrics are seriously naff. Clichés abound. A breeze is inevitably `gentle'; a front `united'; a heart `heavy' and so on. Elsewhere, there are tired phrases like `solid as a rock', `sink or swim' and `heart and soul', unfortunately printed on the sleeve for all to see. I find the sleeve itself quite icky too, incidentally, a sort of updated Six Pieces, and we all know how naff that was!

There are some pleasant tunes, and this is certainly a change of direction. The Enid have never been afraid of re-inventing themselves, and despite my lukewarm response, I'm pleased to see the band getting recognition at last. I see it's got a lot of 5 star reviews, perhaps from the band's die-hard following. And I'd love to be able to add to them. But, with a heavy heart, as Joe would say, I have to confess I doubt I'll be playing this much. It's okay, but I'd certainly advise fans to check out extracts on the website before buying. You may like the Enid's new direction. But for me, the jury's still out.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius, 14 Nov 2012
This review is from: Invicta (Audio CD)
Unlike most other reviewers on here I have only been a fan of The Enid for about 2 years, so the addition of a lead singer didn't worry me too much, and I was right not to worry. The album is incredibly emotive,it made me want to laugh and cry, and Joe's voice is truly brilliant, and a fantastic addition to the team. Please buy.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic, moving and very well produced, 12 Nov 2012
By 
H. A. Beunk "Hurm" (Enschede, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Invicta (Audio CD)
There's no band that in its career has been creating such a unique blend of classical and rock music. For instance, nobody in the rock or pop field is creating such rich and elaborate symphonic arrangement like The Enid. Or uses a purely classical instrument like timpany the way The Enid does.

With Invicta they have reached a new level. You really need to listen to the album as a whole and will find out that it's majestic, overwhelming and moving at the same time. And it's extremely dynamic, soundwise. The production is top notch and several more or less cinematic effects will blow you out of your couch at every listen!

All six members of the current line-up are excellent in their own field, but they use their skills to create a true unit. With the addition of Joe Payne they've got a better singer than they ever had and he also writes though provoking lyrics. Don't turn away if you don't like too many lead vocals, there's a lot of that unique orchestral layered vocal sound also. It's a real good mixture of all the elements that make The Enid so special.

All in all I think it's one of the best The Enid albums and a true contender for best classical/progressive rock album of 2012.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy album indeed... definitely a must buy, 14 Nov 2012
This review is from: Invicta (Audio CD)
Forgive me for the description but seldom does an album come along and grab you by the balls. Not only does it grab but it twists as well, without a doubt their best work from The Enid.
Over the past weeks I had been told this was going to be something special, usually a sign to stay well away from in 99.9% of cases, but this one comes into that 0.1% of recommendations where it is not just good, not just excellent, but outstanding!

This album has got the added bonus of featuring the latest member, Joe Payne, who brings a completely new facet to the image of The Enid.
It is Enid through and through, a true piece of prog rock with powerful performances from every one in the band, and there isn't a duff track on the album.

If you know anyone who is a closet prog rock fan, this would be a perfect early christmas present
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invicta Mature, 13 Nov 2012
By 
L. Rousell - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Invicta (Audio CD)
This really is a masterpiece from this vibrant Enid line up. There are flashes where you say this sounds like so and so, but then you realise that mostly, it sounds very much like an Enid album, certainly no one else could have made Invcta! If pushed I'd say Mahler with some Queen thrown in. If you like Muse and want something a bit more sophisticated and want to see how it should be done, this is the album for you! Joe Paynes vocals show an amazing vocal range and ability to control it. Jason Duckers guitar will reach parts you didn't know existed, Nic Willes and Dave Storey provide a great rhythm section able to move brilliantly from one genre to another, very often on the same track. There really is no substitute for real talent and there is more here than you'd find in a lifetimes worth of xfactor. The layers of voices provided by Max Read makes this an almost spiritual experience. Your speakers will love you for playing this through them. And finally Robert John Godfrey is very much at the helm, helping to turn a very ambitious project into a real classic, I repeat, there is no substitute for real talent! Invicta ebbs and flows it is dramatic, it is powerful, it has what all Enid albums have, and this one has it in abundance, and that is soul! It is emotionally charged and it WILL touch your heart! Wonderful album!
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