Reviewed: Enter Shikari – Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible

Released: 17th April 2020

Rating: 4/5

Every album Enter Shikari release sounds completely different to the previous one, and never sounds like any other artist either. This theme very much continues on album number six, the truly ridiculous Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible. The album’s 45 minute running time contains almost every genre under the sun, something few bands would attempt and even fewer would manage to pull off. Shikari pull it off magnificently. An album of this magnitude requires a huge amount of confidence and ambition to even attempt to create – fortunately, Shikari have these traits in abundance.

Nothing Is True sees frontman Rou Reynolds taking over production duties for the first time on an album. The creative powerhouse behind the band, this step up allows us to delve even deeper into his thought process and see the inner workings of his mind. While his imprint can be heard on every Shikari release, this one feels much more personal. It becomes apparent the thought process that goes into every decision, every sound that is heard, and how this truly is his baby more than any previous album.

Shikari are well-known for their progression on every album, always looking forward, incorporating new sounds and fresh ideas into their music. Nothing Is True is the first time the band has actively looked back as well as forward, meaning there are more than a few nods to all their previous albums. The trance synths of 2007’s debut Take To The Skies and crisp dance keyboards from 2009’s Common Dreads are back with a bang on opener THE GREAT UNKNOWN, along with elements of 2015’s The Mindsweep. Shikari are incredibly consistent when it comes to powerful album openings, and this one is no exception. There’s a new level of directness here though, throwing you into the deep end of this unique experience.

Track two is one of the most normally named on the album, Cross The Rubicon, and is a complete departure from the opener to much poppier affair. Despite a nostalgic synth tribute to the song Labyrinth, this song is one of the simpler ones on the album and doesn’t showcase the band’s true ability. That ability is front and centre on follow track, lead single, { The Dreamer’s Hotel }. It’s percussion-heavy, chaotic, humorous, and will have you moving.

Soon we get to the first real album highlight, modern living… – a bold, catchy, power pop tune with an irresistible chant. It’s a daring move for Shikari, but they own it, and do so in style. This is followed by the pressure’s on., a dreamy, melodic number that could easily slip into the middle of 2017’s The Spark.

The album includes a smattering of interludes, one of which is Reprise 3, a slow piano piece that transitions beautifully into T.I.N.A, as the trance synths take hold on one of the album’s heavier moments. This is followed by another standout moment, Elegy For Extinction, a classically-inspired piece featuring the full brute of the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s a move that only Shikari could get away with attempting, and they manage to pull it off. The ambition of it further goes to prove Reynolds’ songwriting depth and maturity. Is there anything he can’t do?

Marionettes I and II are reminiscent of Havoc A and B from Common Dreads. They grip you excellently as they capture the mood of the world today. They’re followed by another highlight, the simply beautiful satellites * *. One of the most melodic songs on the album, it’s dreamy and packed with emotion and life. A definitive Enter Shikari song.

Upbeat thē kĭñg channels ska-punk vibes with its triumphant trumpet fanfare, before the album winds down on closing track Waltzing Off The Face Of The Earth (II. Piangevole). It’s a fitting end to a whirlwind album.

There’s something for everyone here and few will be disappointed. It’s far from the heaviest work Shikari have released, but it’s unlikely many will care too much about this. In addition to this, Reynolds’ doesn’t showcase his enormously versatile voice as much as fans know he can, with little in the way of screaming, but what he does show, he shows brilliantly. Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible cements Enter Shikari as one of the most unique bands in the music industry. Their DIY approach and sound are to be admired, and the industry would be a lot less interesting without them.

Review by Will Cooper

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