Enter Shikari
The Zone


3.5
great

Review

by Get Low USER (22 Reviews)
July 31st, 2020 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For fans of Take To the Skies who want a little bit more

The Zone is a supplementary album to Enter Shikari's first full-length, Take To the Skies (TTTS). It as a compilation of demos, B-sides, remixes and live performances from before and around the TTTS album cycle. The tracklist differs slightly depending on which version of the physical copy or streaming service one is using to listen; so to clarify, I'll be reviewing the version that is currently on Spotify. The only major differences between this version and the others are the inclusion of Labyrinth as the final track, and the omission of two live BBC performances that were added to some physical copies of the album by mistake.

The first three tracks of The Zone are B-sides from TTTS, the first of which, The Feast, is a demo track that Enter Shikari never gave a polished re-recording. This track starts the album off at a fast pace, with what sounds like a sped-up circus lick on the synthesizer repeating over what is instrumentally one of the heaviest songs Enter Shikari have written. The second track, Kickin' Back on the Surface of Your Cheek, was used as the concluding track of TTTS on the iTunes version, which is how I first became familiar with it. It seems strange to me that Enter Shikari didn't make Kickin' Back the closer of that album (or that it wasn't an official track on the album to begin with), because the song ends with a monumental breakdown with gang vocals that shout: "Take to the skies / It's time to live!", which is apparently where the title of the album derived from. Nonetheless, I always champion Kickin' Back as one of, if not my favorite ES song, thanks to the soaring chord progressions during the verses, and Rou's infectious hooks throughout. The aforementioned gang shout breakdown transitions into Keep It on Ice, which is a mellow electronic tune which features some surprisingly heartfelt vocals from Rou that rival those from Adieu on TTTS.

Speaking of Adieu, the track that comes next is an EDM version created by Rou. It's such an awkward choice for an EDM remix due to how sad the original version of the song is, but my hat is off to Rou because he handled the task seamlessly. The two tracks that follow are a passable live version of Sorry You're Not a Winner, and a "2006 download version" of Mothership that has all the grace of a horribly compressed Limewire rip. Thankfully, this lull in the album is salvaged by Acid Nation, which contends with Kickin' Back for being my favorite ES song. Featuring some rare uplifting lyrics from Rou, the song's main riff is a bouncy eighth-note breakdown that cuts between a chorus of signature gang vocals, yells from Rou, and lively synth leads. The album concludes with a demo version of Enter Shikari, which I prefer to the TTTS-version due to the sheer crunchiness of the riffs; and Labyrinth, which as far I can hear is exactly the same as it is on TTTS.

If you're like me and TTTS is the only Enter Shikari album you can get into, The Zone is a small blessing, since it offers just a little more of their original sound. I have to make note that The Zone is often brushed off by Enter Shikari fans at first glance, since demos and live recordings oftentimes don't trigger a whole lot of interest. However, at the very least, anyone who enjoys TTTS should give the B-sides a chance (that is, The Feast, Kickin' Back, Keep It On Ice, and Acid Nation), since they are all quality songs that would not have been out of place on TTTS. A diverse, endearing, and somewhat odd compilation, The Zone remains the hidden gem in Enter Shikari's discography.




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user ratings (77)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Get Low
July 31st 2020


7616 Comments


Track-by-track format was impossible to avoid on this

Crawl
July 31st 2020


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I used to love Acid Nation and the Adieu remix is strangely fun.

ChoccyPhilly
July 31st 2020


12619 Comments


yeah this is super fun but ultimately supplementary to TTTS. Nice that a write up finally exists though

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Mort.
July 31st 2020


15041 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ive been asking for someone to review this for fucken years

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Mort.
July 31st 2020


15041 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

unless i cant read properly, you didnt mention how much better the harsh vocals are on this compared to ttts



its ridiculous how much better he sounds here. he had a cold during ttts and it gave people such a bad impression of his vocal abilities

Get Low
July 31st 2020


7616 Comments


Yeah, it's weird that in the thirteen years since this was released, no one on this site had reviewed it.

"unless i cant read properly, you didnt mention how much better the harsh vocals are on this compared to ttts"

I actually never had a problem with how Rou sounds on TTTS, but I should've thought to mention this. He does sound great on this album, especially on Keep It on Ice and Acid Nation.

onionbubs
July 31st 2020


12553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hell yea hard pos nothing but love for this era of the band ttts got 5 potential if it had this albums vox, plus keep it on ice is amazing

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Get Low
July 31st 2020


7616 Comments


Thanks for the pos. Keep it on Ice is so good.

SteakByrnes
August 1st 2020


19928 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yea this release fucks

Digging: Lost For Life - We All Share The Blame

SteakByrnes
August 1st 2020


19928 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Woah I don't have this rated lol

Get Low
August 1st 2020


7616 Comments


Shit, I don't either
Oh wait...



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