Annisokay have been plugging away since 2007, slowly carving out a sound that straddles glistening post-hardcore, melodeath and electronica-powered metalcore. In that time, they’ve delivered some banging tracks and supported Parkway Drive on their Russian Ire run, but they’re yet to nail a truly knockout record.
If fifth album Aurora is anything to go by, the Germans have had it with being the underdogs. Well-produced, slick and assured, this album is bigger than 2018’s Arms in every way. Opener Like A Parasite kicks down the doors with a barrage of thundering riffs and apocalyptic electronics that lands it somewhere in the middle of BMTH’s Sempiternal, recent Asking Alexandria and Aussie upstarts Polaris, before an exhilarating chorus soars from the doom.
New screamer Rudi Schwarzer, who replaced long-term vocalist Dave Grunewald last year, has wasted no time in making an impact, injecting the chest-beating refrain of STFU and Under Your Tattoos with power and energy that ripples alongside pummelling guitars and dynamic anthemics. The band’s trump card, however, remains vocalist, guitarist and band leader Christoph Wieczorek, who also oversaw production duties on this record and has quietly become one of the best clean singers in the game. Annisokay have always worn their poppier sensibilities on their sleeves and Aurora thrusts those forward with many of these tracks revolving around Christoph’s huge hooks. The choruses on The Tragedy, Face The Facts and the galactic Bonfire Of The Millennials are ruddy massive, catchier than cold and chock full of burning heart.
Unlike their other previous efforts, Aurora doesn’t run out of steam either. There are enough experimental moments here, like the rapped intro to The Cocaine’s Got Your Tongue or the trancey Friend Or Enemy, to prove the already multi-dimensional facets of Annisokay’s sound have still further scope for growth. Viva the underdogs!