ANNISOKAY’S ‘Enigmatic Smile’ Is Returned By A Targeted Audience
Following their 2014 LP “The Lucid Dream[er]”, the German 5-piece ‘ANNISOKAY’ return after a short period with their debut album entitled ‘Enigmatic Smile’.
Intent on grabbing their audiences attention, the first compilation of tracks (including ‘Carry me away’ & ‘Naked city’), open with a misguiding, innocent melody that lulls the listener into a false sense of security. The music begins to rise and surely enough, a bombardment of heavy-handed and simultaneous note-smacking breakdowns hit the speakers like a wrecking ball. Although this method seems to repeat itself throughout the first quarter of the album, something in the production changes when reaching the fifth track, ‘Wolves in the Walls’.
Despite this particular song leading into a similar and inevitable chest punch of metal riffs, the harmonious opening tune adds a rhythmic stepping stone that the song continuously follows (unlike previous tracks which are littered with mix-match metal drops). Arriving at an interval, the 8th track ‘Life Cycles’ features no scream technique at all. The track may differ completely from the other songs but it holds no restraints and sits comfortably as a compelling addition to the 2015 release. Some may argue it also holds echoes of the future sound for ANNISOKAY, but that is yet to be decided.
The album being recorded in two phases (January & Fall 2014) is more noticeable than the album’s compact disguise lets on. Just after the track ‘Panic Attack’, the band seem to find their feet and define their sound halfway through the 11-piece. The fluentness of the song order and structure seems to tighten and find foundation in which to stand on. The somewhat common cluster of single note beat downs begin to dissipate into concentrated sections where they fit quite neatly.
The ravenous demonic cry of frontman Dave Grunewald seems to lessen and focuses more on the singing aspect of the album. Regardless of notes picked up through analysis, the few opening tracks are not a case of bad song-writing in any way, shape or form. It is simply a miscalculation in the studio preparation of song order. The thought occurs that if the opening tracks were swapped with various later tracks, the album itself would flow smoothly instead of hitting a speed bump halfway through.
Like cannon fire erupting from the cool midnight air, ANNISOKAY’s ‘Enigmatic Smile’ explodes from the studio with their targets aimed at the rock community, ready to light the fuse and re-introduce them to a world of adrenaline-pumped anarchy.
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Words by Nathan Roach