The Enid – Invicta


Review by Dean Pedley

The Enid RJG
Robert John Godfrey

The BBC recently reported the sad news of Robert John Godfrey’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis by referring to The Enid as a “cult British band”. For cult, read unique, for surely there is unlikely to ever again be anyone quite like The Enid, with their 40 year history that has taken in legal trials and tribulations and an array of compositions that blurred the lines between classical and prog. Banned by Glastonbury, monitored by MI5, embraced at the Reading festival by hippies, bikers, and punks alike and not forgetting The Enidi, their inner circle of fans that eat, sleep and breathe the band. Invicta, their most recent studio recording, finds Godfrey and original drummer Dave Storey accompanied by younger band members, guitarists Max Read and Jason Ducker, bassist Nick Willes and new singer Joe Payne.

Payne is often the focal point of the album which contains much more vocals than has often been the case across The Enid’s back catalogue. That is not to say the powerful symphonic arrangements, regular changes of mood and grand sweeping romantic and emotive orchestrated gestures are absent; they are all still be found here in abundance. ‘Anthropy’ is a floating, discordant, ominous opener that gives way to the slow burning ‘One and the Many’ where Payne’s haunting falsetto rings out over minimal accompaniment. Payne’s vocals ensure there is more than a hint of Broadway about ‘Who Created Me’ and ‘Villain of Science’ and only The Enid could follow a throwaway reggae pastiche (‘Execution Mob’) with a darkly orchestrated tension fused burst of paranoia (‘Witch Hunt’). The instrumental ‘Heaven’s Gate’, whilst purposeful and grandiose in its execution, seems more muted given the presence of Payne across the rest of the album. ‘The Whispering’ offers a soothing close, made even more poignant by Godfrey’s health issues that will inevitably bring forward his retirement.

With the band now being discovered by a whole new generation of prog fans the future of The Enid, with or without RJG, is seemingly in safe hands and Invicta is another eclectic addition to their remarkable legacy.

The Enid - Invicta8.5 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Anthropy
  2. One And The Many
  3. Who Created Me
  4. Execution Mob
  5. Witch Hunt
  6. Heaven’s Gate
  7. Leviticus
  8. Villain Of Science
  9. The Whispering



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