Annisokay: Enigmatic Smile

German metalcore mob get a chorus of approval

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Sporting a name that can’t help but conjure up Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal, these Germans have an obvious love of pop music sensibilities. Throughout Enigmatic Smile, the type of choruses that bear-hug your subconscious come strong and often.

Vocalist/guitarist Christoph Wieczorek’s vocals are so dominant on songs like Life Cycles and Fragile Line that it’s initially hard to acknowledge anything else. But is there more to Annisokay than catchy choruses?

Yes, although not much. When the band try to head in a heavier direction, as they do for the majority of this album, it’s not a lot to write home about. Standard metalcore clichés and pedestrian riffs are the order of the day. It’s not dire, but the likes of Fame aren’t going to be considered anything that is setting the standard for this type of music.

Luckily for the band, when things do start to drag, another killer chorus is only moments away, but it never feels like enough to lift the record to the level you could call essential./o:p

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.