Whether it’s a tried and true methodology that has proven over and over again that it works the best out of any solution, or it’s purely a matter of a comfort level, the old and all too familiar adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is applicable to a multitude of aspects in life. In the music world, progression, experimentation and change has taken charge as of late, but really only in sound. Most artists still stick to the nuances that go into the creation of their beloved craft. The most accepted and unchanged aspect is the album release cycle as many musicians tend to create an album, tour off of the album, take a break and then go back for the next release. This cycle tends to last between 2-3 years for a large majority of musicians, but over that timespan so much can change, listeners miss out on the potential of a true evolution in sound. German metalcore outfit Annisokay have opted to stray from the typical cycle as they’ve released new music and new albums year after year, which in turn displays a different form of growth from the members who make up the band. With their third studio album Devil May Care set to be unleashed on listeners, the lingering question is yet again, does the band top their previous work?
Devil May Care opens with “Loud”, which dutifully lives up to its name with a brooding sound, created through hard hitting, down-tuned guitars and pulsating drumming culminated by deep growls and bits of heavier singing. This simply, yet appropriately titled song showcases one of the biggest strengths of the band, which is the combined power of both the singer, Christoph Wieczorek, and the screamer, Dave Grunewald. Grunewald’s screams stick mostly to shrieking mids and at times brutal lows while Wieczorek’s unique voice helps each song stand out. While this approach is common throughout the metalcore scene, it can be taken to a new level when two vocalists have an unwritten level of chemistry, which after multiple records and years in the same band, these two have created between themselves. Their vocal styles aren’t the only highlights on the record as “What’s Wrong” incorporates electronic effects adding an atmospheric and haunting style, “Smile” sees the band opt for a more progressive approach and Marcus Bridges’ guest feature helps elevate the song to a new level and “Blind Lane” steers into more pop oriented territory with its soft melodies and calming sound.
New album “Devil May Care” OUT NOW. Order here: https://Annisokay.lnk.to/DevilMayCareID Scroll down for lyrics!
The key aspect to Devil May Care is in its refinement and polish of a foundation built on the modern day metalcore sound. This refinement comes in a variety of aspects from influences like Bring Me The Horizon’s Sempiternal to Northlane’s Node. That doesn’t mean that it’s a copycat of either band, but rather draws inspiration in a select few tracks while at the same time retaining their own tried and true approach. On the other hand, the biggest gripe that many will ultimately find throughout the whole of the record is that it does very little to step outside the boundaries of the genre of which it lies within. Succinctly put, fans of the band and genre will most likely be ecstatic with the record as it’s a push forward for the band in overall composition and sound, but those hoping for Annisokay to follow the current trend of really pushing the envelope via progressive riffs, outside the box ideas and over the top sounds will be left disappointed.
Even though Devil May Care opts to stay within the realms of its genre and doesn’t opt to reinvent the wheel, it’s hard to see fans of metalcore being displeased with this release. It’s energetic in its musicianship, catchy and engaging due to its massive soaring choruses and downright loud with its at times brutal lows, easily checking all the boxes for a fun release. Add in the subtle electronic elements, the outstanding guest features and the strongest level of songwriting from Annisokay to date to breathe in a breath of fresh air, and the end result is a record that shows hard work, dedication and sometimes a simple deviation from the norm can lead to great things.