Album Review: Enter Shikari // Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible

Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible is a quintessential Enter Shikari album, taking its listeners on a journey of their sound and proving that the possibilities of genre are endless. 

The boys of Enter Shikari are back with their sixth studio album: Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible. Fans of Shikari already know that their sound is incredibly diverse, and this album is the perfect example of that, providing us with throwbacks to ‘Common Dreads’ as well as anthems that could very well be the feature track on an apocalyptic blockbuster. 

The album opens with ‘THE GREAT UNKNOWN’, a synth heavy track reminiscent of their ‘Flash Flood Of Colour’ days that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The track starts steady and then leaps into a high-octane chorus wherein lead vocalist Rou Reynolds asks us: “is this a new beginning? / or are we close to the end?”. The query builds into the main refrain of the track; welcoming old fans home to their philosophical lyrical style and letting new listeners know just what they’re in for with the rest of the album. 

The first single from the album, ‘{ The Dreamers Hotel }’, gives us our first head-banging scream-along track- a great choice for a first taste of the album prior to its release. The heavy guitar combined with Reynolds’ poetic yet bluntly delivered lyrics- “it’s dog eat dog and I’m a purebred”-  is what most would describe as that classic Shikari sound. The track closes with the powerful line: “if love is blind / then hatred is deaf / and well fed”, highlighting their lyrical skill and overall commitment to each of their tracks having meaning bursting at the seams. 

From there we take a complete 180, gliding into ‘Waltzing Off The Face Of The Earth (I. Crescendo)’, the source of the album’s title and our introduction to a march of existentialism. The track has a slow build, allowing for frontman Reynolds to articulate every syllable of his politically-driven lyrics and drive home the refrain of “Our future’s been denied / Now there’s nowhere to hide / now that nothing is true / and everything is possible.” With mentions of climate change, mass shootings, and corruption, listeners can definitely imagine themselves intertwined with like-minded individuals and waltzing off the face of the earth. The track fades off with a stunning instrumental, focusing on an almost drunken soulful sax piece that encapsulates the essence of the song. 

Another stand out from the album is ‘modern living…’, accompanied by ‘apøcaholics anonymøus (main theme in B minor)’. Coupled together, these tracks have amazing live performance potential. It isn’t hard to imagine a cramped room of Shikari fans screaming the lyrics “we’re apocaholics / drinking gin and tonics / lying in the flowers / counting down the hours.” The tracks resonate as a societal call out, and offer up a critique of the pedestrian sense of anxiety and nihilism in the modern age. Though alone – “modern living…” is just under three minutes long – its lyrics and resonant sub base give it strong anthem potential. 

The album’s third single ‘T.I.N.A’ contains a similar kind of energy. It’s angry and frantic, and a craftily woven blend of genres that Shikari are known for dipping their toes in. Parts of the song bring to mind strobe lights and hallucinogens, while other segments make you want to dive head first into a mosh pit. The echoed vocal synth adds layers to the song that are a testament to the album’s great production- It’s clear that the band worked hard on this album. 

From there we wind down with ‘Elegy For Extinction’, a stunning track highlighting the orchestral arrangements of George Fenton. The track would not be out of place on a film soundtrack, and is a stark contrast to the intensity of ‘T.I.N.A.’. It’s dramatic, but in a different way to the rest of the album. Beautiful and calming, it begins the denouement of the album’s narrative. Though some critics have claimed the track is out of place, I believe it’s a credit to the band’s diversity that they strive to achieve in a majority of their music. 

Overall, ‘Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible’ is a whopper of an album. It’s message and overall quality is something old fans of Enter Shikari are accustomed to. If there was ever an album to persuade you to become a Shikari fan, this is it. 

Words by Hannah Herraghty

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