Record Label: SPV/Long Beach Records
Re-Release Date: Out Now
Dave Grunewald – Shouts
Cristoph Wieczorek – Clean Vocals/Guitar
Phillipp Kretzschmar – Guitar
Norbert Rose – Bass
Daniel Herrmann – Drums
The Final Round
Who Am I
Ghost Of Me
By The Time
Where Do I Start
Day To Day Tragedy
Wasted & Useful
The Final Round – Hoppitronic Remix
This isn’t a sub-genre of music I listen to very often, so when I do I want to make sure I listen to something good. So, with that being said, is this re-release of German band Annisokay’s debut album going to make my list or will it be deleted as soon as I finish writing?
“The Final Round” builds from an atmospheric start and kicks in with Dave’s demonic shouts and an excellent guitar tone backed by Daniel’s uptempo drumming making for a fine introduction of what Annisokay are all about. On the chorus, clean singer Cristoph takes to the mic and shows what an excellent voice he has. Best described as a less high pitched Kellin Quinn, I find his voice a lot easier to listen to than the Sleeping With Siren’s frontman. The chorus actually has a damn good hook to it and will have you singing it without you realising. The two vocal styles really complicate each other well and it’s at this point I realised I could understand Dave’s shouts. No big deal to some maybe but usually I have no idea what the shouted vocals are on music like this and to be able to do that in a second language is impressive indeed. The programmed electronic parts are nicely done and used sparingly and effectively so that they complement the song and not detract. What an excellent start to the album!
“Sky” uses the twin vocal arrangement well over some impressive post-hardcore style guitar work. Actually on this track the guitar catches my attention the most and I can tell this must be an absolute blast live. With “Anniversary” keeping up the energy in a similar style to the previous tracks this is clearly not an album to sit back and relax too! More excellent use of keyboards and some great heavy guitar work once again compliment the vocals well.
A track by track breakdown isn’t really needed on this album but not because all the tracks are the same. If anything, there is a greater degree of variation than a lot of others of this sub-genre and I think if you like one or two of the tracks then you will love the album as a whole. After a few listens, the individual tracks will be easy to tell apart, with the heavier tracks accented nicely by atmospherics and some slightly slower numbers.
The intensity of the dirty vocals is great but they are still clear enough to understand and the cleans of Cristoph are just excellent – he could easily front a band on his own but the two styles work so well together it would be a waste to split them! The guitar work too really stands out, not in a guitar hero kind of way but creating an excellent heavy backdrop for the vocalists to work over, which wouldn’t be possible without the drums and bass creating the anchor of such a heavy bottom end. And the keyboards, where used, are just the cherry on the top of an already very satisfying cake.
To sum up then, this album was quite a surprise. After the first couple of listens, the variation and complexity of the tracks really became apparent and the individual member’s contributions became easier to identify. But the way that they all work together is what makes this such a great album – there is no “star” with a backing band, this is a great team working together, as a band should be. So, did “The Lucid Dream(er)” make “The list”? 100%, yes. In fact, if anything it will make me listen to this kind of thing more often. Now I’m off to see what else I can find of Annisokay’s there is to discover.
Written by Duncan Everson