Symphonic Black Metal / Symphonic Metal / Folk Metal • Germany
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Two brothers into medieval culture decided to form band, Enid. A symphonic black metal band with medieval moods, mainly on their Gradwanderer album.
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ENID Discography

ENID albums / top albums

ENID Nachtgedanken album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Symphonic Black Metal 1999
ENID Abschiedsreigen album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Symphonic Black Metal 2000
ENID Seelenspiegel album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Symphonic Black Metal 2002
ENID Gradwanderer album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Symphonic Metal 2004
ENID Munsalvaesche album cover 3.53 | 3 ratings
Folk Metal 2011

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ENID Reviews

ENID Munsalvaesche

Album · 2011 · Folk Metal
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Munsalvaesche is the fifth full-length album from German metal act Enid. The album was released in 2011 and is the band’s first release since 2004’s Gradwanderer. Munsalvaesche is mostly the work of musician Martin Wiese, who handles most of the instrumentation and the vocals, while the remainder is performed by session musicians. The album is inspired by the medieval work Parzival, written by Wolfram von Eschenbach.

Although Enid began as a black metal act Munsalvaesche is very far removed from the style. Although most openly symphonic in style, the melodies of the album are straight up medieval influenced folk that is extremely atmospheric and never fails to conjure up images of the past. The vocals, which are mostly in a clean style although there are some growls as well, also fit this mood perfectly, although I have to be honest, this is one case where I could really do without the growls. Sometimes on an album with mostly clean vocals a few growls do a lot of wonders to really spice up a particular section of the music (a good example would be the song Streams by prog metal act Haken), but on Munsalvaesche they feel, unfortunately, unnecessary. I guess the use of the growls allows the album to retain some identity with Enid’s roots, but that’s really as far as their usefulness goes.

It’s actually a fair way into the album before we get to hear any metal since the opening track Red Knight completely forgoes the main genre in favour of an epic medieval flavoured opening performed as an orchestral piece. This track is, funnily enough for a metal album, one of the most epic things about the release, and a stunning opener. I like that it is a full track and not just a fancy introduction which barely lasts any time whatsoever. It’s only when we get a little way into Legends from the Storm that the metal finally kicks in and it fits in with the mood set up by Red Knight well enough, although somehow it did manage to lose a little bit of the really epic nature that the opening track held for me. It is still well composed and performed music though, and I like how Martin Wiese’s vocals become a part of the soundscape while also having memorable lyrical lines. The trouble for me is I could easily have listened to an entire album in the vein of Red Knight quite happily and will a great album all the same, there are very few moments after Red Knight ends that really capture the same level of greatness as said track.

Other highlights of the album appear later in the album and back to back. Both The Journey and Valley Under Two Suns stand as the best songs in the metal style that Munsalvaesche has to offer. Enid really captured the sound perfectly on these two, especially on The Journey which also is as close as the album comes to the atmosphere of Red Knight. All the tracks are good and have their masterful moments, though I would argue that the approach used in Belrapeire doesn’t do the medieval atmosphere any favours and while an interesting track it feels out of place on this particular album, making it the exception to the rule. Ironically when taking it out of context it’s not actually the weakest track on the album, a dubious accolade I have to hand to Condwiramurs, a track that despite being more in keeping with the album’s atmosphere than Belrapeire actually came across as a little boring.

As a whole package though Munsalvaesche is an enjoyable release with a unique take on metal music, but it does suffer ultimately from a little bit of inconsistency, something that is perhaps most evident by how far into the album it is before it gives up its post Red Knight gems. A certain spark is missing in much of the album in other words. This is however quite the intriguing release and I expect that if Enid keeps going down this track in the future we’ll be in for a real treat. For now this is pushing towards being great but does fall short by a small margin. Munsalvaesche is still an album I’d recommend to the listener looking for the more unique sound from the metal genre.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scored at 7.3/10)

ENID Munsalvaesche

Album · 2011 · Folk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Although German black metal is often characterized by razor-thin guitar tones, war-themed lyrics, and an overall violent atmosphere, the music on Munsalvaesche is anything but that. Gentle symphonic passages, viking-styled clean vocals, and a strong traditional folk influence characterize Enid's sound on this album, and calling it "black metal" would be rather misleading to the unsuspecting listener. I'd say that this album has more in common with medieval classical and Nordic folk music than metal, but this is a highly eclectic album and, as such, does contain a few black metal portions to keep the listener on their toes. This isn't an album for the most die-hard of metalheads, but it's a great listen for the rest of us. Though a tad pretentious and inconsistent at times, this is a generally impressive work of art.

I've mentioned earlier that Munsalvaesche has a lot in common with classical and folk music, and that is especially apparent in the opening number "Red Knight" - a pure orchestral track that is epic beyond comparison. Most of the more metal oriented tracks also feature lots of symphonic and folky overtones, but there are also songs like "Belrapeire" that feature a much more modern and synth-driven approach. Munsalvaesche feels a tad inconsistent due to its excessive influences from different genres and styles, yet every individual song is enjoyable and well-composed. I guess slight inconsistency might be a drawback to making music as original as Enid have done here - make no mistake, Munsalvaesche is an incredibly unique and often enjoyable journey.

As strange as it may sound, I find myself enjoying the non-metal portions of Munsalvaesche much more than the heavier sections. The tranquility found in the gentle folk passages is stunning, and the metal sections come across as a bit generic by comparison. That's not to say that the heavy sections are bad, but more just to highlight how wonderful some of those symphonic passages are. I wouldn't call Munsalvaesche a flawless album, but it's a well-composed, original, and professional observation that fully deserves 3.5 stars.

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