10 years on from the release of Take To The Skies sounds like a long time, but even with the release of three more studio albums in that timeframe Enter Shikari have managed to evolve their style and expand their usage of genres while sticking to the roots that they first showed us with their debut album.

Heavy use of harsh vocals and electronics are factors that have been present on each album since their debut, but as the members of the band have grown up, frontman Rou Reynolds’ lyrics have adopted a more political base with more use of spoken word and rapped vocals than screamed. The gap of 8 years between the release of Take to the Skies and The Mindsweep has shown that Rou isn’t afraid to try something new and focus on what works, focusing more on clean vocals on the latter album in many homages to their debut.

Take to the Skies arrived with much love from the fanbase of bands in the metalcore and post-hardcore genre with the use of interludes between tracks showing off their prowess in musical theory that fans of something a bit more melodic can appreciate. The album opens with one of these interludes leading on to the very progressively written “Enter Shikari”, again, heavy on the use of harsh vocals and chugging guitars. The following track “Mothership” gives us more insight on the electronics and synthesisers that have become so integrated with the bands sound, forming the overall melody of the song, letting the heavy guitar and drumwork fill in the background to give us the epitome of “classic Enter Shikari style”.

The album continues in this style through gems such as “Labyrinth” and makes it’s way to the mellow “Today Won’t Go Down in History” at the midpoint of the album. This is one of two songs on Take to the Skies to feature only clean vocals and it truly stands out as a sad yet emotionally detached affair, strongly opposing the likes of “No Sssweat” and “Enter Shikari” with the latter’s use of fast double bass drums and open string bass chugging building up the meat of the tracks.

And, of course, who could forget “Sorry, You’re Not a Winner” or “Okay, Time for Plan B”? The music videos that first gave us a taste of what this band had to offer. The video for “Sorry….” taking place in a crowded club room of about 50 people, a much smaller feat than their last few tours gathering thousands of fans. “Okay, Time for Plan B”s video has the members of Enter Shikari performing on toy instruments in one of the band member’s parent’s basement. This really shows off the comedic and fun loving side of this band that we would get to appreciate in all of the ten years since this video’s release, as they have offered other comedic music videos such as “Slipshod” and “There’s a Price on Your Head” from the most recent album.

Finishing off the album with “Closing”, a reprise to lyrics heard in “Enter Shikari” as well as one of the interludes between tracks, this track does what it claims and closes the album with an droning sound to lead onto the next album, in the style of Dream Theater’s “Metropolis Pt. II” leading onto their “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence” and so on.

It truly is amazing to see a band nowadays retain all of their founding members and evolve at such a pace without losing anything that made them special to begin with. As a real fan of this band myself since the beginning I can say I’ve really enjoyed this ten years with Enter Shikari and I hope to enjoy ten more.

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