ANNISOKAY – Devil May Care

A very strong release from a band who are just discovering and individualising their sound.

8 out of 10

The German metal five-piece ANNISOKAY have had an exhilarating 2 years. Their third studio album, Devil May Care – released 11th November on Long Branch Records – arrives just over a year after their explosive second album Enigmatic Smile, which debuted on the German Top 100 chart. Their critically acclaimed 2014 debut The Lucid Dream[er] saw them graduate from a beloved German underground act to a rising force in the modern metal scene, as well as building themselves a dedicated worldwide fanbase, who anticipate the band’s first global tour.

The opening track, Loud, introduces the harmonic vocal diversity that ANNISOKAY is recognised for. The capturing clean vocals coupled with deep guttural screams create a soulful and ambient canvas for the rest of the album. The 4 minute track wastes no time setting the pace for the record, with its driving rhythm providing a strong backbone for an energetic opening track.

The first single from the record What’s Wrong sees the band stick closely to their staple sound, with the powerful bassline in the first verse nearly overshadowing the weak breakdown later in the song – its build-up with the solo vocal takes away the effect. However, the final chorus makes up for it with its lead-in cleans, enhancing the final drop to finish on a satisfying note.

Another standout track from Devil May Care is Blind Lane. This track flows beautifully, combining haunting layered vocals and flawless harmonies to create the structurally most perfect song on the album. Lyrically, the track is nostalgic in the most painful way, with lyrics such as “I touch your skin, I hold my breath // The time has come, our love is dead” and “There’s nothing wrong with being wrong for each other // At some time or another” conjuring a bleak image, which, relayed over an infectious rhythm and layered melodies, is set to stay ingrained in listeners’ minds even after their first play through.

The Last Planet ends the album perfectly. This reverb-heavy track includes everything that has made ANNISOKAY such a success, displaying their cultivated ability to blend smooth, clean vocals with grittier growls flawlessly. The guitar tone in this piece is thrust to the listener’s attention by a consistent drum rhythm, highlighting the talent of the five-piece, showing just why this album is so highly anticipated. Their undeniably fantastic sense of melody is also demonstrated in this closing track, contributing to an impeccable end to ANNISOKAY‘s global breakthrough.

Devil May Care sees ANNISOKAY refine their sound, and the step-up from their last album is clear to even the most dedicated listener. Despite the rising global platform Enigmatic Smile gave them, this release is the five-piece’s declaration of passion and commitment to becoming an even bigger name in metal scene, and it is executed almost flawlessly with the whole record leaving the listener with goose bumps. Even after some weak layering on D.O.M.I.N.A.N.C.E and yet another disappointing breakdown, each track is still a showcase of masterfully crafted guitar riffs and progressive drums. ANNISOKAY‘s talent is clearly displayed throughout, and Devil May Care is an explosive third instalment to their catalogue which is sure to win them global success on a huge scale.

You can watch the video for their recent cover of Michael Jackson‘s Beat It below, and pre-order Devil May Care on Long Branch Records here.

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