Enigma
MCMXC a.D.


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sam Knight USER (28 Reviews)
October 25th, 2008 | 23 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist


The year is MCMXC A.D...

1990, a year that launched the greatest decade of music in history. From that point on, the music only got better. Radiohead burst onto the scene with the inspiring OK Computer, Daft Punk created one of the most influential club songs in the world and many more artists (yes, we could actually refer to them as true artists) became a solid landmark in the industry. One of these acts was Enigma, a New Age band/solo composer that shook up the likes of chant music and electronica. The combination was genius, although some might complain about it being ahead-of-its-time and uninteresting. MCMXC A.D. added the same amount of Gregorian chant in with high risks, expecting positive feedback. And it did. The album alone had sold over 16 million copies worldwide, and became one of the few only debuts to keep on the charts 282 weeks in a row. So what was so special about this colossus of an album?

The good
The fusion of different genres here is spectacular. All from electronica, to rock and ambient. The first track, Principles of Lust, includes a combination of 2 songs, one being the legendary (and official "monk" theme) Sadeness and the other a temporary split, or interval, of the song. It does drag very close to the 12-minute mark, but you never lose your interest in this magnificant piece. The techno beat accompanying a chilling chant orchestra will more than likely give you goosebumps. Mea Culpa is a very similiar track, following the same rhythm pattern. The chanting is back, slightly more diverse than the first, and a much more "antique" feel, as if made in the back of a crazy hippies van during the 70's. Safe to say, all the songs follow a similiar pattern. Callas Went Away is a drafty 4-minute mix of piano, flute and ambience. You can't help but notice the similarities in tone to one of the Spice Girls' hits.

The bad
If you own a copy of the original, the album has only managed to spawn 7 tracks, passing little over 40-minutes. Lengthwise, some songs seem almost a minute too long, and tiresome at points. A literal sleeper hit. The production work is incredible, but lacks variation, especially in tracks like Knocking on Forbidden Doors. The message conveyed in some songs are sexually explicit, and based on religion and belief. This caused some contreversy in the community, with Curly (the bands female MC) muttering orgasmic sounds through the album. However, it doesn't affect the actual quality of the music at all.

Conclusion
MCMXC a.D. is one of the most original and contreversial albums to grace the planet. The religious influences, fusion of musical genres, sexual references and awe-inspiring Gregorian chant has helped Enigma make a name for itself. The project was purposely meant to arrouse the public and spread peace and sanity. Each song is relaxing and mind-bending, like a perfect jigsaw puzzle without the effort. You can truly appreciate it as a form of art, and even if it further proved "Make Love, Not War" to be more than just a hippie's saying, it created the feeling. MCMXC a.D. is one of a kind.

Recommended tracks
Sadeness
Mea Culpa
The Rivers of Belief
Callas Went Away



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3.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
tinathefatlard
October 27th 2008


1608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

beautiful album, great review

Masochist
November 5th 2008


8152 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Long overdue album review, and a good one.



Sadeness, of course, is amazing, as is Mea Culpa.

Digging: Failure - The Heart Is a Monster

Merkaba33
March 3rd 2009


702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mine only has the first five tracks. different version possibly?

Apollo88
November 16th 2009


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A classic that has inspired many artists!

KILL
December 21st 2011


74191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good stuff

TheNotrap
December 21st 2011


8307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^

Indeed. You need to check the next one, great stuff.

Digging: Wishbone Ash - Argus

KILL
December 21st 2011


74191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

will do bro

BonerAdams
December 21st 2011


64 Comments


Principals of Lust > my life philosophy

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
April 19th 2012


4473 Comments


I have really gotten into Enigma lately. the music is so beautiful, so soothing.

Graveyard
September 2nd 2012


6146 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the cross of changes is better, but this is still pretty good

YankeeDudel
November 5th 2012


9336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this could be the chillest shit ever conceived

Digging: A Certain Ratio - To Each...

YankeeDudel
November 5th 2012


9336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

OmairSh
July 24th 2014


12562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

We'll rest in peace



On my rivers of belief

Digging: Symphony X - Underworld

ChoccyPhilly
August 10th 2014


10191 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This needs more love. Also the 3 bonus tracks really add more edge to this, especially when it hits the Rivers Of Belief reprise

Digging: Mike Oldfield - Amarok

TalonsOfFire
April 10th 2015


13143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is the kind of electronic music I've been looking for, now to find more downtempo

Ryus
April 10th 2015


9377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@talons



trentemoller -last resort

lapalux - lustmore

bonobo - north borders

TalonsOfFire
April 10th 2015


13143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Ryus, I'll check those out. I also have those three trip hop albums (Mezzanine, Dummy, and Entroducing) to hear so I have the classics down



I like how this has medleys and movements, reminds me of Dream Theater's A Change of Seasons with how they're arranged.

Ryus
April 10th 2015


9377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dude mezzanine will blow you away it's pretty much the best album ever

TalonsOfFire
April 10th 2015


13143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll probably love Mezzanine given the genres listed for it

Artuma
April 10th 2015


19771 Comments


mezzanine is out of this world dude

Digging: Soda Bomb - Wanna Jam?



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