Enid - Munsalvaesche review
|Release date:||November 2011|
01. Red Knight
02. Legends From The Storm
06. The Journey
07. Valley Under Two Suns
08. Sheafs Of Sparks
After seven years of silence, medieval veterans Enid and their mastermind Martin Wiese return to enthrall the scene with another magnum opus, Munsalvaesche. They've had quite an adventurous course throughout the years; from the beautiful and Summoning-driven Nachtgedanken to one step ahead, Abschiedsreigen, and from the more melodic Seelenspiegel to its more avant-garde form, Gradwanderer. Munsalvaesche is the natural continuation of the latest two, but at the same time a more progressive attempt for the sound of the band. A very good first impression has to be the drowning-in-shades-of-scarlet cover artwork which lends a more to-the-point idea concerning the lyrical concept which is based on Wolfram von Eschenbach's medieval novel, Parzival.
Martin Wiese, the main composer, is not alone in the fifth attempt of Enid. He's accompanied by Henrik Hamann and Lykrates Vyron of Eïs on the guitars and the drumming respectively and Vera Wiese-Herzhoff on the violoncello. He personally arranges the orchestrations and deals with the piano, the synths and the vocals.
As I said above, the sound has progressed and it's obvious in some key characteristics. First of all the vocals; of course there are still some chanting vocals but they don't overrun the album during its whole duration. The semi-operatic chant singing of previous releases has given its place to a new perspective in terms of interpreting: melodic clean vocals embrace a bard-like aura so as to keep pace with the story-telling music. Of course some spot-on aggressive, hoarse and more grunting vocals aren't missing, they're part of Enid's sound heritage. One shouldn't forget the anthemic choir-like vibe that arises at times as an ensemble with Martin's interpretation.
Then you will notice that the musical motive is pretty different this time without overshadowing the past footsteps of the band that led them to what they are today. You can't say it's medieval metal; what you can say is that it's metal and it's medieval, it's rock and orchestral, it's delicate and dynamic, sonorous and eloquent. The fact that some orchestrations take their time to unfold strengthen the overall cinematic vibe that gushes forth through the elegant and well-conceived compositions. The piano always had an essence of its own as an instrument and its beauteous passages adorn the soundscapes with lyricism, the keyboards lend atmospheric depth and the orchestrations escalate it whereas the violoncello enriches Martin's visions even more. The guitars emerge with a heavier riffing edge only whenever needed and they tend to embrace a lighter tone or a more melodic one with elegiac solos. The acoustic chords with their gentle sound couldn't be absent from this attempt. Nevertheless the guitars as a whole present a wealth of ideas without exaggerating and that's always a big plus for me in such cases.
Munsalvaesche is like a theatric act; you have to cherish it as a whole from beginning to end, otherwise there is a big chance you won't enjoy it in full force. Of course you can listen to songs solely but what matters in here is unity in terms of concept and ambiance. Enid are back; old fans will rejoice and I really do wish their audience will broaden, after all they deserve it. Follow the "Red Knight" to the "Valley Under Two Suns", somewhere between myth and fantasy.
||Written on 31.10.2011 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."|
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