October 18, 2007

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Enter Shikari, Take to the Skies
Ambush Reality Records, May 7
Metal album of the year in the house, guys, if that’s Enter Shikari’s goal, which indeed it may not be. At first earful this UK four-piece is a mixture of In Flames, As I Lay Dying and cut-rate electro, a summation that doesn’t hold much water by the time the record finishes up. A lot of hurried wardrobe-changing goes on here, but that’s not to say that it’s a kaleidoscopic genre montage; the pieces are logical fits for each other in the way you’d associate a brick with a baseball bat — blunt, dangerous objects with little other common ground. There’s a Sex Pistols guy yelling violent obscenities. Some math-metal. A bubbling synth that owes its life to the intro of Mr. Mister’s “Kyrie.” Goth techno-cheese. Doc Martens-stomping oi. An Eddie van Halen guitar lead. A keyboard that sounds like “Jump.” Bursts of drum-n-bass that disappear the second you realize they’re there. Screamo lines. Sevendust-esque doom chords. Adult-radio emo.

Take to the Skies is a latecomer owing to the band’s running their own label and not really concentrating on the States until a month or so ago, at which point they hired PR over here. When – not if – this explodes in America (my lowball guess is they’ll easily rope in twice the numbers In Flames regularly get), be it within the metal world or as a nu-rave crossover, the floodgates wont just be opened for metal bands to start working on some seriously cool, open-minded stuff, the dam will be blown to atoms. A+Eric W. Saeger