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Enid - "Munsalvaesche" (CD)

Enid - "Munsalvaesche" CD cover image

"Munsalvaesche" track listing:

1. Red Knight (5:03)
2. Legends From The Storm (7:43)
3. Belrapeire (6:13)
4. Munsalvaesche (10:56)
5. Condwiramurs (5:42)
6. The Journey (6:24)
7. Valley Under Two Suns (4:53)
8. Sheafs Of Sparks (6:03)

Reviewed by on November 23, 2011

"Like the soundtrack to a Viking movie, the album builds slowly and is chock full of bombastic hymns and an avalanche of melody, sounding like a well polished 'Blood On Ice'"

Enid's "Munsalvaesche" is a well orchestrated and methodical post-black Viking metal album. Like the soundtrack to a Viking movie, the album builds slowly and is chock full of bombastic hymns and an avalanche of melody, sounding like a well polished "Blood On Ice" (Bathory). Like Bathory, Enid is the brainchild of one man, Martin Wiese, who flies solo with this entire performance, and it is a stunning achievement for one man.

"Red Knight" starts off as the opening "movie credits" leading into the pomp and circumstance of "Legends of the Storm," which has a mild but addicting chant along with nicely delivered clean vocals. The more metallic "Belrapeire" has similar sophistication with heavier guitar riffs beautifully accenting the orchestration.

The title track adds more haunting rhythms and eerie chants. This time Wiese mixes his clean style with a touch of black metal. The midsection of this near 11 minute rhapsody is a soothing classical masterpiece that erupts into heavier riffs and harsh vocals buried in the mix which does not disrupt the song's overall continuity. However, the song might have served up even better at about half the time.

"Condwiramurs" is a personal favorite. Martin's clean vocals are calming as he delivers the most memorable performance on the album. It really should be the listener singing "Thank you for saving the world" and "thank you for the inspiration." It is both bucolic and breathtaking. There are times when the least heaviest of an album's tracks can have the biggest impact.

"The Journey" takes the classical orchestration and heavy guitars up a notch from any point on the album. The song has a Falconer feel to it with the deeper clean vocals and primordial medieval majesty. The music defines the journey creating a sonic image of sojourning through forests and over mountain passes. "Valley Under Two Suns" continues that Falconer feel and represents the album's heaviest track. The harsh black vocals return and wrap around the deep clean ones like a serpent creating a duet of good and evil.

As good as this release is, listening to it is mood conditional. On days where the world has you by the balls, listeners like myself are more apt to belt out the Viking hymns of Amon Amarth rather than the atmospheric calmness of Enid. However, when you need to get away and find peace and seek inner calmness, Eind would fit in perfectly. Fortunately, viking-esque post black metal with earthy tones and medieval orchestration comes recommended from an author who thoroughly appreciates this enjoyable release.

Highs: Medieval and folk influenced post-black with a most calming beauty

Lows: Some songs run a bit long and the release might be conditional on the listener's tastes or mood.

Bottom line: Enid lulls you with a calming and breathtaking post-black metal masterpiece.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)