By Tom Springer
Venerable rave rockers Enter Shikari are back with their latest album called Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible. Their previous album The Spark was a departure in sound for the band with a lot less chaos, lighter electronics, and overall a lighter and more airy feeling. Lyrically the band has never strayed from dealing with modern political issues and The Spark created a juxtaposition between the lighthearted instrumentals and some of the darker themes. Overall the message of the album was one of hope and exploration of the future. It felt like it put you in the place of an explorer ready to find something good. So does the new album continue down this path? Or does Enter Shikari bring back some of their signature sound?
Right off the bat you can hear a stark difference in tone between the opening tracks of the two albums. The Spark kicked off with airy and soft electronics that brought the listener comfort, it was short but set the tone for the album as a whole. Nothing Is True however sets things off with a more ominous piano back by some heavy synth work. The pulsing drum beats and edm feel will have a lot of older listeners feeling right at home. Personally it’s my favorite opening track since A Flash Flood Of Colour’s System and Meltdown although not quite as heavy as those two. Lyrically it also sets the tone for the album. We’re dealing less with themes about exploration and more about desperately trying to hold on to that hope.
The single from the album The Dreamers Hotel would feel right at home on The Mindsweep or A Flash Flood Of Colour, it’s pure Enter Shikari featuring the dance vibe electronics, heavy guitars, Rou Reynolds unique brand of vocal delivery that sits somewhere between rap and spoken word. My only minor gripe is that the lyrics seem to be addressing so called cancel culture and how internet mobs seem to ruin lives because everyone expects things to be perfect all the time. Maybe I’m getting the wrong vibe but I’m not a super big fan of that message.
There’s some lighter songs on the album fitting more in line with the sound on The Spark like The Pressures On or to a degree Modern Living…. However a lot of the tracks bring back what I’d describe as classic Enter Shikari especially T.I.N.A and The King, the former feeling like a rave in a song. I’d love to hear it live knowing how their live shows go. It’s a nice mix of styles the band has played with through the years and kinda something for everyone. It’s extremely refined to its pure essence.
Enter Shikari have been doing their brand of politically charged rave influenced metalcore for well over a decade now and have pushed themselves with every album, not will to stick to one sound. Nothing Is True & Anything Is Possible manages to offer a nice blend of everything they’ve explored while still pushing forward and even offering some straight up experimentation. This is post metalcore, it’s metalcore evolved, and it’s probably their best album in years that will satisfy fans and newcomers alike.