For their fourth full-length, Germany’s Annisokay have somehow managed to not only go heavier, but also become more melodic in the process. ‘Arms’ captures the sound of a band confident in their abilities and craftsmanship, building on their previous foundations and forging a new path in their journey.
Guitarist/vocalist Christoph Wieczorek not only plays dual roles of co-producer on the album but also allows his singing to take a centralised role this time around. Whether it’s the use of harmonies on ‘Innocence Was Here’ subtly weaving into the track, or crafting a memorable coda for ‘Sea Of Trees’.
At the same time, frontman Dave Grunewald creates his own nuances via an abrasive medium. During the verse of ‘One Second’, the in pocket guitar work is bypassed by a percussively growled Grunewald, showcasing his talents as a vocalist.
His dexterity is highlighted yet again within the aforementioned ‘Innocence Was Here’ by using the bridge as a means to alternate between high and low end vocal tails, giving direction to a gloriously claustrophobic song.
Album highlight ‘Fully Automatic’ disposes of the conventional song structure, therefore creating a riff-laden journey of hooks that appear in varying degrees. Utilising every member to their full potential, we’re treated to an array of dynamic changes based on two reoccurring motifs. This is done expertly, whether it’s through the subtle re-introduction of the lead guitar line throughout, or by creating a fractured coda with the lyric “It’s a long time| to usher in changes to its structure.
Throughout ‘Arms’, the group flirt with electronic elements as shown in ‘Private Paradise’ displaying a trap style beat throughout the majority of the track. This allows not only a new flavour to the sonic playing field for the band, but also allows the chorus to become crushingly heavy.
From the opening salvo of crunching guitars all the way to the bursting final chorus, Annisokay have created an album that takes risks yet retains its identity.