Every now and then a new band comes along that causes this somewhat jaded reviewer to look back at his stereo and go "woah, who is this again?" Newcomers Annisokay are just one of a number of great new bands coming out of Germany these days and I couldn't be more impressed.
While some may call them post-hardcore or metalcore, there are elements of other genres (including melodeath) that come together in a satisfying mix of melody and metal crunch. Even their name belies their crossover mindset in a reference to Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal ("Annie, are you okay? Are you okay, Annie?"). Starting with a music box melody, you get the feeling you're entering some sort of Tim Burton dreamscape, but it quickly breaks into an In Flames-esque guttural onslaught. And that's just the opening track. There are other sounds here that are as innovative as they are familiar and that's probably what makes it all work, but it's the fact that these young guys from Germany are doing something that seems very American in its sensibility and self-assuredness but with a clever and experienced European spin on it.
Even more fascinating is how they incorporate electronic elements into the mix without taking the metal edge off of things - and for clubbers there's even a dub step version of the opening track (the HoppiTronic Remix) that actually kind of rocks. I'm not gonna run out and start clubbing or anything, but I'm in awe of how these musicians crank out highly listenable music from such an unusual mix of genres. Nice work.
The Bottom Line: Annisokay seems to be the best amalgamation of innovative, 21st century metal from both sides of the pond and it sounds great. If you're looking for something fresh and full of energy, check out these young Saxons' debut.
- Genghis totally did the robot guy dance from The Dave Chappelle Show during that last track...