The Alexandra Palace stands tall and grand with incredible views of London's skyline. This prestigious London venue has been host to many music acts throughout the years, but on Saturday night, it prepared for one of the UK's most political, outspoken and independent acts - Enter Shikari.
With support acts Arcane Roots, The King Blues and The Wonder Years opening the night, it was always going to be impressive night for live music.
Arcane Roots did what they always do, and took the venue by storm. Despite the crowd not being huge for the band, this didn't faze them at all and they put on a performance they will be proud of.
Continue reading: Enter Shikari - Alexandra Palace 27 February 2016 Live Review
David Straw picks out his top albums of 2015
10. Counterparts - Tragedy Will Find Us
Staunch defenders of their metalcore tag, Counterparts might have a bit of trouble keeping it, given that Tragedy Will Find Us is at its best when it feels like a pure hardcore record. Stillborn & Thread start the album with style, while the lilting guitar intro Burn bridges the gap between the single and Stranger perfectly.
Collapse is Tragedy.'s finest moment, though. Emotionally charged, it's the most 'metal' track on the album that builds to a fitting crescendo.
They sound excellent live, too. Joining Stick To Your Guns and Stray From The Path (we'll get to them later) for a UK tour in February, it'd be a sin to miss Counterparts, if this record is anything to go by.
9. Vision of Disorder - Razed to the Ground
Over the past couple of years, there's been a definite sense that metalcore is beginning to have run its course. Fortunately, all it needed was for one of the bands who crafted it in the first place to release an album to remind everyone just how good it can be.
That band is Vision of Disorder, and that album is Razed to the Ground.
Heart of Darkness and Red on the Walls are vintage VoD, white hot and delivered hard, while Electric Sky could be VoD covering Pantera covering Black Sabbath. Yeah, really.
Tim Williams' vocals are as strong as ever, and it's his lashings of Layne Staley-esque lines that lift the album even more.
Razed to the Ground is an album that'll pass so many by, while paler imitations shine brighter in the mainstream conscious, and for a record as good as this, that's a crying shame.
Continue reading: David Straw's Top 10 Albums Of 2015
After the success of Enter Shikari’s latest album release The Mindsweep you’d have thought that they couldn’t do any more to such a brilliant album. But we were wrong.
With the announcement of The Mindsweep: Hospitalised, a drum & bass remix of The Mindsweep created through a collaboration between Enter Shikari and Hospital Records, a brand new love child was born.
Enter Shikari have always been big on remixing tracks and having B-sides. Because of the variety within The Mindsweep, which is heavy on the electronics as it is, a drum & bass remix of the whole album was always going to be an interesting, but clever move.
Continue reading: Enter Shikari - The Mindsweep:Hospitalised Album Review
One of Europe's best rock and metal festivals returned to its home at Donnington Park last weekend and it's safe to say, once again, that Download smashed it. With a range of bands from Kiss, Motley Crue, Billy Idol, Rise Against, Parkway Drive, We Are Harlot and more all booked to play, there was something for everyone at the festival, and that was one of the most noticeable highlights.
Despite the torrential rain pouring down during Slipknot's set, they pulled off one of the best shows to date on Friday and set an extremely high standard for the rest of the headliners. Playing hits like 'Psychosocial', 'Devil In I', 'Spit It Out' and 'Custer', and attempting to break the Download record for the most amount of people all jumping up at the same time they certainly went all out.
Muse were considered to be a controversial band to have booked, but all concerns were quickly dashed as soon as they hit the stage on Saturday. Matt Bellamy's vocal abilities were on top form as the band belted out tracks from their newly released album 'Drones' as well as well-known hits like 'Supermassive Black Hole' and 'Plug In Baby'. Even those who were indifferent or somewhat disliked Muse couldn't deny that they put on the show of a lifetime complete with dancing lights, pyrotechnics, confetti and inflatable balls.
Continue reading: Download Festival - 2015 Live Review
Here's a preview of what to expect from Download 2015.
Download Festival sponsored by Zippo is now approaching its twelfth year and it keeps on going from strength to strength, and this year is looking to be the biggest and best to date. The festival will return to Donnington Park (its home since 2003) between 12th and 14th June with a line-up that covers everything on the rock, punk and metal spectrum.
Rock royalty are headlining this year's festival, with Slipknot and Judas Priest rocking the Friday, Muse and Faith No More on the Saturday and Kiss and Motley Crue on the Sunday; it's looking to be a jam packed weekend.
Continue reading: Slipknot Set To Raise The Proverbial Roof At Download Festival 2015
Over the better part of the last decade, Enter Shikari haven't only been one of the biggest UK bands, but one of the best and for many reasons. Across their three albums, they've been diversely fusing hardcore/metal and electronica, using this hybrid to cover a wide array of flavours and moods be it poppy and optimistic or aggressive and furious. They've always had strong hooks no matter what style they were covering, they're insane live and, perhaps most importantly, they've had a genuine and focused socio-political message. All those elements are present on newest album 'The Mindsweep' but are they just as interesting the fourth time around?
'The Appeal & The Mindsweep' is a spoken word introduction which is to be expected for the first song on an Enter Shikari record at this point. It features their most calculated and chilling electronics yet indicating where their main focus will be on this album. When the heaviness comes in, it does the job but it's not as exhilarating as it's been in the past. Vocalist Rou Reynolds is screaming, 'I am a mindsweeper, focus on me' and there are down tuned guitars but they're not played with a whole lot of strength, lessening the impact. There's a sense that they feel the need to put some gruff in as opposed to actually wanting to.
'The One True Colour' is an improvement with a shaky synth-line and organic combination of gentleness and anger, plus a soothing bridge with strings and harmonised backing vocals that correspond with the stomp of the song. 'The Last Garrison' also gives the album a boost, being an absolute beast of a track with high pitched synth/guitar stabs juxtaposed with the 80s bouncy tone that quickly follows. You can picture bloody mosh pits one second and then feel like going to the beach the next. It's hands down the strongest track on the album, making it clear why this was the lead single. The lyrics ('still air in my lungs, still blood in my veins') summon feelings of determination and fortitude and paint imagery of not giving in.
Continue reading: Enter Shikari - The Mindsweep Album Review
Enter Shikari's new single, Arguing With Thermometers, is the second single from the band's third studio album, A Flash Flood of Colour, which was released through Ambush Reality on January 16th, 2012. Arguing With Thermometers follows on from lead single Sssnakepit, which as released in September 2011.
St. Albans heroes, Enter Shikari are as much on their game as they were back in 2006, when adolescents everywhere wanted to grab one of those finger lights and scream along with Rou Reynolds. They were extremely refreshing at the time, stamping down the boundaries in their fusion of post-hardcore and electro. Their 2007 debut, 'Take To The Skies' provided us with some classics like, 'Sorry You're Not A Winner' and 'Johnny Sniper.' The lads were also making a name for themselves, perhaps down to their live shows alone. Smashed jaws, bloody noses and busted limbs were all part of the crowd experience because everyone wanted to be part of the Shikari. Though, they appeared to have peaked too soon, when their follow up, 'Common Dreads' was released in 2009. There didn't seem to be any staple anthems on there like their first, but thankfully this new record, 'A Flash Flood of Colour' propels them back up to their podium, where they rightfully belong.
Continue reading: Enter Shikari, A Flash Flood of Colour Album Review