Just when you thought you knew it all and heard it all, something remarkably relevant paves its way into a year that’s already been burdened with social unrest. International musically empowered genre benders Enter Shikari have entered their 13th year with a message that will interrogate your mind and challenge its very core. Welcome to The Mindsweep; a declaration of raw passion and a true musical portrayal of everything this quartet embody.
In true Shikari style, the album opens with a dramatically supreme statement. ‘The Appeal & The Mindsweep I’ oozes gargantuan synth intertwined with frontman Rou Reynolds’ manifesto to the human race, before plunging into electric pandemonium. By the ends of its almost five minute wrath, you’ll be locked into a world of the unknown, and believe us, you’re not prepared.
Receptive to the world they live in, The Mindsweep sees Enter Shikari’s innovative and daring character showcase their social awareness in the most chaotically crafted fashion possible. ‘There’s A Price On Your Mind’ wildly helter-skelters around the topic of class, before descending into the beauty that is ‘Dear Future Historians…’. Its a revelation to see Shikari in this stripped back poignant light. It reminds us of A Flash Flood of Colour’s ‘Constellations’ , but is even more defiant against society’s norms and values today.
What shines through in an abundance though is the four-piece’s ability to create one message, one body of work, as opposed to individual tracks. Each track moulds and glides into another seamlessly. Previously released ‘Never Let Go Of The Microscope’ is a cacophony of dub thrills and guitar chills; laying out the band’s views on the current health system, building upon ‘Anaesthetist’ sharp lyrical content. It all climaxes with ‘The Appeal & The Mindsweep II’. Shikari use the track as their conclusion to an overall vision and social statement as it picks up where the introduction left off, in an exceedingly rapid form, with guitar grooves, drum twists and unexpected bloodthirsty turns.
The Mindsweep is Enter Shikari’s most daringly powerful release to date, and as ingenious it is, it is an immensely important artistic creation. Whether you are a long-term Shikari fan, or are still yet to understand their genre mixture madness, this is an album that is far more than musically outstanding. This is an album that takes social awareness to neurological heights that test creative boundaries more than any band are courageous enough to do.