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Music / Enter Shikari

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From L to R: Rory, Rou, Rob, Chris
Enter Shikari are a British four-piece Electronicore / Avant-Garde Metal band. They could probably be described as post-hardcore, although they also have elements of punk, metal, screamo and many different sub-genres of electronic music, and even occasionally hip hop.


  • Rou Reynolds - lead vocals, programming, synthesizer, keyboards, acoustic guitar, rhythm guitar, trumpet, percussion
  • Liam "Rory" Clewlow - lead guitar, vocals, percussion, keyboards, synthesizer
  • Chris "Batty C" Batten - bass, vocals, synthesizer, keyboards, percussion
  • Rob Rolfe - drums, backing vocals, percussion

As of this writing, they've released seven albums: Take to the Skies in 2007, Common Dreads in 2009, A Flash Flood of Colour in 2012, The Mindsweep in 2015, The Spark in 2017, Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible in 2020, and A Kiss for the Whole World in 2023. They also released two compilations of B-sides and demos, The Zone in 2007 and Tribalism in 2010, and as of 2013, they have begun a dubstep side project called Shikari Sound System.

They're named after a boat that Rou's uncle had. "Shikari" also means 'the hunter' in Hindi.


  • Take to the Skies (2007)
  • Common Dreads (2009)
  • A Flash Flood of Colour (2012)
  • The Mindsweep (2015)
  • The Spark (2017)
  • Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible (2020)
  • A Kiss for the Whole World (2023)

Sorry, You're Not A Troper:

  • Album Title Drop: Common Dreads is title dropped in both the eponymous intro track and "Solidarity" ("Here tonight / I clock a thousand heads / Here to unite / Through common dreads"). The previous album, Take To The Skies, also gets mentioned in "No Sleep Tonight" ("You and me, we're gonna take / To the skies, for a common sake").
    • Take to the Skies is also name-dropped in a non-album single from 2007, "Kickin' Back on the Surface of Your Cheek".
    • A Flash Flood of Colour gets one in "Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here".
    • Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible is repeated at the end of "Waltzing off the Face of the Earth (I. Crescendo)".
    • The Zone is referenced in "Enter Shikari".
    • "Dead Wood" references Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible.
    • The eponymous track in A Kiss For The Whole World.
  • Animated Music Video: "Thumper" is a black-and-white performance video, with doodle-style drawings of the band rotoscoped over it.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The song "Bank of England" is about failures with the marketing system in Real Life. It's complete with counteragruing Adam Smith's infamous "invisible hand" argument, telling the listener "the invisible hand no longer guides, it chokes".
  • Arc Words: And still we will be here, standing like statues.
    • Also, at the spoken-word beginning of "Radiate", all coupled with Rob's ferocious blast-beating: To take away our expression is to impoverish our existence.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: The very first word on Take to the Skies.
    • Comes up right before both choruses in "thē kĭñg".
  • Audience Participation Song:
    • You are legally obligated to join in with the famous three claps to "Sorry, You're Not a Winner".
    • Rou often changes the last two lines of "Havoc A" to "hold tight *insert name of place they are playing at*, 'cause you're crucial".
  • Badass Creed: From "Juggernauts".
    We'll do what we've always done
    Shut our eyes and hope for the best...
    NO! We're gonna face this
    And step out onto the tracks
    Stare it right in the face
    • In the opening section of "Sssnakepit" this definitely counts:
    What's the one thing that has more speed
    More strength
    And goes deeper than us?
  • The Backwards Я: Greek, actually. See Xtreme Kool Letterz further down the page.
  • Call-Back: Plenty to go around.
    • The song "Solidarity" off Common Dreads ends with a chorus singing "and still we will be here / standing like statues", a phrase which is repeated multiple times during Take to the Skies.
    • "System...", the intro to A Flash Flood of Colour starts with the same synth as "Common Dreads", which is the same synth that closed Take To The Skies.
    • The vocal effect on the line "OPEN THEIR MINDS" from "Gandhi Mate, Gandhi" is the same as "AND NOW THE FLOODGATES WILL OPEN" from "Solidarity".
    • The line "This is no white abode" from "Wall" on Common Dreads harks back to "My white abode, do you remember my white abode" from "Sorry, You're Not a Winner".
    • The pre-chorus to stand-alone single “Stop the Clocks” uses the same guitar melody as the chorus to “No Sleep Tonight”.
    • In the song “Crossing the Rubicon” from Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, the line “but we can’t turn back it’s a labyrinth” is accompanied by the same synths as those used in “Labyrinth”.
    • Two in "Dead Wood": to "(pls) set me on fire" and to Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible.
    • "Jailbreak" references "The Dreamer's Hotel".
    • "Giant Pacific Octopus" references "Live Outside".
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Occurs so often that it's hard to find a song that doesn't at least nod to it.
  • Continuity Nod: "Havoc A" has one to "Acid Nation".
    It's another day in the acid nation
    Expected to gulp down hindrance
  • Corpsing: Rou is visibly trying very hard not to fall victim to this whilst singing the band's cover version of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe".
  • Cover Version: They've covered Kid Cudi's "Day N Nite" and Faithless' "Insomnia".
    • They’ve even performed an acoustic cover/mashup version of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” and their own song “Live Outside” (starts around 3:10).
  • Fading into the Next Song: Used a lot by them on the first two albums, but Take to the Skies is extremely noticeable, due to the Interludes. It's very satisfying to play "Interlude 3," a breakcore intro to "Sorry, You're Not a Winner," then the song itself, then "Interlude 4," the Jonny Sniper fanfare, and then "Jonny Sniper". A nice group of tracks.
    • "Torn Apart" fades into "interlude".
    • Also applies to a lot of songs on both Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible and A Kiss For The Whole World.
  • Faux Retro: Jonny & the Snipers.
  • Feed Me: Rou can get pretty hammy during the intro to "The Jester", as seen here (footage from the Live from Planet Earth DVD).
  • Fun with Acronyms: as seen with the third single from Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, "T.I.N.A." (There Is No Alternative).
  • Genre Roulette
  • Genre Shift: Arguably. Common Dreads is a lot lighter musically than Take to the Skies.
    • Then there's A Flash Flood of Colour, which is heavily Dubstep influenced and has a lot more of an electronic dance feel.
    • Both The Spark and Nothing Is True & Everything is Possible are much lighter than even Common Dreads, much to the chagrin of some old school fans.
  • Green Aesop: Happens A LOT. Enter Shikari purposely include one in every album.
    • "Jonny Sniper" from Take to the Skies is about protecting the Earth.
    • Common Dreads has an environmentalist message running through it.
    • "Arguing with Thermometers" from A Flash Flood of Colour is about climate change scepticism.
    • "Myopia" from the Mindsweep is about lack of action taken against climate change and how it's important to take action because all living things are related.
    • "Elegy of Extinction" is an instrumental track portraying life on Earth with music. It devolves into Last Note Nightmare to signify climate change.
  • Harsh Vocals: Rou likes doing them a lot. Man of a Thousand Voices indeed.
  • I Am Very British: See Man of a Thousand Voices below.
  • Insistent Terminology: They're a socially conscious band. Rou does not like them being called a "political" band.
  • Ironic Nickname: Fans dubbed the band's old tour van as the Shikari Ferrari. It's hardly a Ferrari, more a battered old Post Office van.
  • Last Note Hilarity: Rory laughing at the end of "Sssnakepit" and the "Louis Armstrong" noise.
  • Last Note Nightmare: The last few seconds of "Labyrinth" are rather... chilling.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Spark, at least compared to the material before and after it.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: The band have had the same lineup for 20 years (as of 2023).
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Johnny Sniper" is an uplifting song... with a very serious environmental message.
    • "Hectic" becomes darker lyrically in the last chorus, whilst the song's upbeat trance feel carries on.
    • "Gap in the Fence" eventually morphs into an uplifitng House track. Although the majority of the lyrics have already been sung by this point, it is definitely a case of this trope as the lyrics are incredibly dark and serious.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Rou can do: clean singing, rapping, screaming (his primary style) and, occasionally, Death Metal-like Harsh Vocals. He is easily one of the greater examples of this trope in the entire metal scene, along with artists such as alt-metal vocalist Mike Patton, avant-garde musician Tooru "Kyo" Nishimura, experimental multi-instrumentalist Devin Townsend, nu-metal vocalist Jonathan Davis, Melodic Death Metal singer Christian Alvestam and progressive deathgrind musician Travis Ryan.
    • Chris has been known to put on a "posh" British accent when playing the role of a "government" or "establishment" figure ("Fanfare for the Conscious Man" and "Gandhi Mate, Gandhi" being two obvious examples).
  • Metal Scream: All three types. And in spades.
  • Mind Screw: "System..." could count as this as it's entirely metaphorical.
  • Miniscule Rocking: "The Paddington Frisk" is 1 minute and 24 seconds long.
  • Mood Whiplash: On Take to the Skies, the relatively soft, feelgood "Jonny Sniper" is followed by calm acoustic ballad "Adieu"... and then comes "OK, Time for Plan B", a fast-paced, mosh-worthy heavy tune. It's still awesome, though.
    • In The Spark, the heartfelt and mournful, piano-based "Airfield", in which Rou delves into his personal struggles of the past years is followed immediately by the raucous, jungle-grime-rock mashup of "Rabble Rouser".
    • Loud and energetic "Leap Into The Lighting" and "feed your soul" are right before quiet and somber "Dead Wood".
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The official promo video for "Radiate" has them simply stand there doing nothing, but all other things you'd expect in a music video are still there.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Common Dreads added the dubstep influences and political lyrics which have become part of their Signature Style.
    • A Flash Flood of Colour doesn't sound anything like the two albums before it.
    • Neither do The Spark or Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible for that matter, with the latter even including one fully orchestral track.
  • No Title: Used a few times on Take to the Skies, with tracks 1, 5, 9, 11, 13 and 17 untitled on the track listing. However, track 1 is usually referred to as "Stand Your Ground, This Is Ancient Land", tracks 5, 11 and 13 as Interludes 1, 2 and 3 respectively, and tracks 9 and 17 as "Reprise One" and "Reprise Two", the final track also known as "Closing".
    • "interlude" on The Mindsweep.
    • "Reprise 3" on Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible.
  • Nostalgia Goggles: "Hectic" is this in song form. But not completely...
    Oh those halcyon days and halcyon nights
    Before we began to realise that things aren't right
  • Performance Video: All of their music videos feature the band performing the song at some point. Some with an audience ("Sssnakepit", "Sorry, You're Not a Winner" and "Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour" for example), some without ("Destabilise", "Radiate" and "Quelle Surprise", as examples).
  • Piss-Take Rap: Rou likes this, and surprisingly, he's actually good at rapping. In fact, most of the intros have rapped vocals instead of Rou's signature screams.
  • Precision F-Strike: A pretty good one in "Enter Shikari", the first song (not counting instrumental opener "Stand Your Ground, This Is Ancient Land") on their first album, and the VERY FIRST WORD is Rou screaming "SHIT!".
    • Arguably, the line "We need to FUCKING ERUPT" in "Destabilise".
    • "No Sssweat" with "You do this EVERY FUCKING TIME!"
    • From "Anaesthetist": "You sold us short! You will not profit off our health....STEP THE FUCK BACK!!"
    • From "Goldfish": "You’re just a fucking goldfish".
  • Queer Media: If the lyrics weren't already clear enough, Rou confirmed in an interview that "satellites* *" was written as "an exercise in empathy towards the LGBTQ community".
  • Record Producer: The band have worked with SikTh guitarist Dan Weller since Common Dreads.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: A fair amount of songs:
    • "Common Dreads" flows into "Solidarity".
    • "System..." flows into "...Meltdown".
    • "Marionettes (I. The Discovery of Strings)" and "Marionettes (II. The Ascent)".
    • "Bloodshot" and "Bloodshot (Coda)".
    • "Leap Into The Lightning" and "feed yøur søul".
    • "Giant Pacific Octopus" and "​​giant pacific octopus swirling off into infinity…".
  • Soprano and Gravel: At the end of "Sorry, You're Not a Winner", Chris sings the line "Insert your coin" cleanly, then Rou growls it.
  • Spoken Word in Music: The intro to Common Dreads and "System...". Also happens in the beginning of "Jailbreak".
  • Stealth Parody: "Gandhi Mate, Gandhi" is so outlandish it could very well be this - the song contains every single Shikari cliche known to man and some very silly lyrics. The band also re-enact the part where they all get Rou to calm down mid-rant LIVE, to hilarious effect.
  • Studio Chatter:
    • "Zzzonked" opens with a clip of Rou complaining: "These wars are directly out of order, you get me? They're past their sell-by date serious. I don't think any of you fucking get me. Listen." Cue Metal Scream.
    • In "Gandhi Mate, Gandhi", Rou's bandmates try to get him to calm down whilst he is in mid-rant.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: In the video for "Jonny Sniper", the Shikari Ferrari gets blown up.
  • Subdued Section: In "Sorry, You're Not a Winner" and "Destabilise", among others. "Adieu" is one for the most part of the song, before the guitars and drums kick in.
    • Also, "Destabilise", "Quelle Surprise" and "Radiate". Hell, that's pretty common in ES's songs.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Adieu" and "Gap in the Fence".
    • "Constellations" counts as well.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Return to Energiser" and "Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here".
  • Vagueness Is Coming: The lyrics to multiple songs in Nothing is True & Everything is Possible mention that they can feel "it" coming, that it's getting closer and can be felt in the air. Judging by the albums themes, "it" is likely societal change or revolution.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Their 'Greek' logo from the Common Dreads era counts, in text form looks like ΣΠTΣ℞ SHᶲKΔ℞ᶲ. Pre-The Mindsweep, they were also fond of adding extra letters to one song on each album, like "No Sssweat", "Zzzonked" and "Sssnakepit".
    • Almost every song in Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible features either additional symbols, fancy letter accents, or selective capitalisation, most notably in three of the album's four singles: "{ The Dreamer's Hotel }", "thē kĭñg", and "satellites* *".
    • Carries on in A Kiss For The Whole World with "feed yøur søul" and "Goldfĭsh ~"

If you were looking for "Enter Shakira", you may be interested in this YMMV.