After parting ways with vocalist Dave Grunewald in 2019, Germany’s Annisokay soon recruited Rudi Schwarzer and began working on their fifth full-length. Not straying too far from their sound with Aurora, Annisokay continue to refine their electronica infused metalcore.
Hitting the ground running with glitching synths and grooving riffs, ‘Like A Parasite’ wastes little time in introducing Schwarzer, who delivers breakneck growls to compliment the soaring choruses of Christoph Wierczorek. Streamlined and touching on elements of drum and bass in its tightly composed bridge, ‘Like A Parasite’ sets the bar high early.
Following up with lead single ‘STFU’ and ‘The Tragedy’, Annisokay keep the momentum building, with the hardcore inspired former and the hook laden chorus of the latter highlighting the band’s strengths.
Granted, as the record plays through, Annisokay don’t attempt to re-invent the wheel, favouring trade-off vocals, accessible choruses, and leaning into electronic flourishes instead. Still, with tracks such as ‘Face The Facts’ boasting stomping choruses and a hyperactive approach to dynamics, ‘Aurora’ (for the most part) reiterates the key elements of the group’s sound.
Whilst there aren’t many deviations throughout, ‘Bonfire Of The Millennials’ brings the synths closer to the forefront and focuses on Wierczorek‘s clean vocals to break ‘Aurora’ up slightly. Simple, yet effective, the track closes a strong first half.
Following up with a mismatched second half, ‘Aurora’ struggles to marry the rap metal of ‘The Cocaine’s Got Your Tongue’ as well as re-treading familiar territory, and it’s here where the record begins to lose its impact. Whilst the unhinged ‘I Saw What You Did’ does standout, ultimately it’s not enough to keep the momentum going.
Closing with ‘Terminal Velocity’, crunching guitars cut through the swimming melodies to push the song towards a strong conclusion. Dynamically streamlined, the track, and ultimately the record, shows promise in Schwarzer‘s introduction into the fold.
Whilst it may be front loaded, ‘Aurora’ does have its moments of floor filling metalcore alongside displaying a strong debut for new vocalist, Rudi Schwarzer. Still, ‘Aurora’ stays far too close to an all too tried and tested blueprint.