Enter Shikari – Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible (Album Review)

Enter Shikari – Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible
Released: April 17, 2020

Enter Shikari lineup:

Rou Reynolds // Lead Vocals, Synth
Liam “Rory” Clewlow // Lead Guitar & Vocals
Chris Batten // Bass & Vocals
Rob Rolfe // Drums & Vocals

Enter Shikari online:

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Website

It’s being dubbed by the band as the “definitive Shikari record” and the lads told us backstage at Good Things Festival last year that there is something for every level of  Enter Shikari fan on this release, so you can imagine the excitement in our eyes when Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible finally landed in our inbox so we could review the shit out of it for you and here’s what happened once we hit play on one of 2020’s most anticipated albums…

The Great Unknown‘ kicks off with a frantic piano opening that leads to a synth-driven sound complimenting frontman Rou Reynold‘s vocals as he guides us into the album with what seems like a slow-jam track, only for it to open up during the chorus which Shikari fans will absolutely froth over! ‘Crossing The Rubicon‘ slows things down for what I’m going to dub a mainstream pop anthem which showcases the band’s high energy songwriting and instrumentals, without departing from their unique sound that we’ve all grown to love and appreciate over the years whilst ‘{ The Dreamer’s Hotel }’ as we all know already, caters to the long-term fans who have been listening since the early days. It’s fast, upbeat and packs an important punch with its subject matter about a fictitious place we’d all love to be able to escape to, away from the madness of the world, but it’s completely abandoned. Enter Shikari don’t just write great songs to sing along to, they write ones that make you think and this is a prime example of what the lads are capable of doing so right! If you didn’t like this one, there’s something wrong with you…

Meanwhile… we continue our review with ‘Waltzing off the Face of the Earth (I. Crescendo)‘ which is a literal Shikari Waltz Song that reflects on the current state of the world around us discussing hard-hitting topics like climate change, poverty, gun control and asylum seekers just to name a few. This is one of those “you need to listen to what’s being said in the lyrics in order to truly appreciate the song playing” so pay close attention when this one rolls around and not since Parkway Drive‘s ‘A Deathless Song‘ have I wanted to grab a hand and waist of someone close to me and bounce around a room, but this song invokes that want/need perfectly. ‘modern living…‘ brings back those deep EDM synth sounds with Rou’s fast rap-like-vocals combined with his melodic side flourishing on this slow jam which carries on into the next track ‘apøcaholics anonymøus (main theme in B minor)‘, serving as an instrumental remix/continuation of the previous song. This is nothing new to Enter Shikari who have done something similar to this on previous albums when the end of one song would roll into another, only this time they’ve taken samples of the chorus and created a somewhat interlude track that takes us through to the album’s second half. ‘the pressure’s on.‘ is up next and straight away I’m hearing elements from their last album The Spark which is great to see them revisiting that masterpiece. While the track lacks a bit of oomph! it’s still got a great easy listening vibe to it that’ll surely get you bobbing in your seat, bed or wherever you listen to this album from! ‘Reprise 3‘ is a short musical interlude that takes us up to ‘T.I.N.A.‘ aka ‘There Is No Alternative‘ which the boys released as a single back in March and took me by surprise at first with it’s dancey sound to it, however, if you’re a long time Shikari fan, this sound arrangement won’t be new to you. After giving it a few listens I can hear elements that date back to their Mindsweep/Flash Flood era (without sounding like a complete copy and paste job). Some fans have said this song shows the band wanting to take a more pop direction, but between you and I, this is unlike anything on mainstream pop radio right now and I can’t help but think the guys will be considered outcasts if this was played alongside some of today’s big radio hitmakers… but then again, maybe that’s what is needed to stand out from the pack!? Either way, it’s a banger of a track you won’t be able to listen to just once.

Elegy For Extinction‘ sounds like the opening scene of a Disney/Pixar movie with its arrangement of instrumental strings, brass, drums and synth (and lack of vocals) that take the listener on a journey inside their minds, but for this writer, not being a fan of instrumental bands, I can appreciate the hell out of it musically, but it needed some sort of vocals added to it in order to pack a bigger punch. ‘Marionettes (I. The Discovery of Strings)’ and ‘Marionettes (II. The Ascent)‘ much like ‘System…‘ and ‘…Meltdown‘ from Flash Flood go hand in hand together, but don’t go into it expecting to hear a fast and furious orgy of genres, this duo’s focal point is the EDM synth sounds of the band, but don’t write that off if you’re a rock/band enthusiast! Separately, these songs don’t work, but together played one after another they open up and become this elongated adventure that just works so bloody well together. The vocals, the band playing along, the additional sounds you hear in the background, it’s just so well done.

satellites‘ opens up with that Disney music from before but this time, there’s distorted vocals greeting it and bringing us into an up tempo belter that’ll no doubt have you singing along! When you hear this one, from the start to the end, you know it’s an Enter Shikari song, it just has that unique sound that no other band has managed to match or attempt, because only they can pull it off so well. There’s a mass blend of different sounds that’ll stimulate your senses as you check this one out and I have to say it’s one of the best songs from the album so far (second to ‘The Dreamer’s Hotel‘). ‘the king‘ has trumpets. Trumpets in a fucking Shikari song! Seriously, if you can’t appreciate that, then this album definitely isn’t going to be for you!

The thing I can’t help but wonder is how different the band’s live shows are going to sound now, especially with all of these new songs and sounds/genres they’ve dabbled into. The boys have pulled off their quartet thing for well over a decade now, but with this album, will we see a new era of live Shikari shows take place complete with a handful of touring musicians coming along to make these shows something much more epic than previously witnessed? Sorry to go off subject for a second there but goddamn we’re in for some epic sets from the band in future. The waltz is back for the album’s closing track ‘Waltzing off the Face of the Earth (II. Piangevole)‘ which gives us a slow ease back into reality following the trip we just experienced and I have to say, it just worked better than anticipated. Most bands leave you with a final EPIC closer to see you off and get you listening to the album on repeat again and again, but this track kind of closes the door on album #6 for the band in just the right way.

Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible is Enter Shikari‘s grand scale opus! This isn’t an album, it’s a musical adventure that’ll tantalise your senses, have you belting out the lyrics and leave you with a sense of composure (despite all the madness surrounding you right now). These lads have always pushed the boundaries of musical experimentation and this release could be their most intricate offering to date. Don’t just listen to a song or two, listen to this in full from start to finish in order to truly experience it how it was meant to be listened to.

enter shikari - nothing is true

Enter Shikari – Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible tracklisting

1. The Great Unknown
2. Crossing The Rubicon
3. { The Dreamer’s Hotel }
4. Waltzing off the Face of the Earth (I. Crescendo)
5. modern living…
6. apocoholics anonymous (main theme in B minor)
7. the pressure’s on
8. Reprise 3
9. T.I.N.A
10. Elegy For Extinction
11. Marionettes (I. The Discovery of Strings)
12. Marionettes (II. The Ascent)
13. satellites
14. the king
15. Waltzing off the Face of the Earth (II. Piangevole)

Rating: 7.5/10
Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible is out Friday, April 17. Pre-order here
Review by Browny @brownypaul

About brownypaul (2673 Articles)
Dad, Wall of Sound Owner/Podcast Host/Editorial Manager & Professional Beard Grower... Definitely NOT a Hipster!

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Rou Reynolds – Enter Shikari ‘Now Is Not The Time To Be Cancelling Art’ – Wall Of Sound
  2. Enter Shikari Unleash ‘THE GREAT UNKNOWN’ Music Video – Wall Of Sound

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