Fresh off their first ever tour of the United States, having crossed the country with I Set My Friends On Fire, Annisokay’s new record Arms is out now. The band presents a beautifully expansive, almost cinematic feeling version of metalcore on the release, drawing the listener into a musical world that is at once humanly emotional and musically heavy.
On Arms, Annisokay has accomplished what it feels like many “metalcore” bands try to. The feeling from the record is that they’ve hit the jackpot or discovered the gold — whichever metaphor suits you best works.
On the one hand, the band maintains a virtually tangible level of emotion throughout the release. The vocals aren’t there just for filler, alternating between cleans and screams — both sets of which are accessible — and the instrumentals don’t veer off down their own separate path, either. Instead, both aspects of the music work together to pull on the listeners’ heartstrings. Sometimes that tension is intense; sometimes it’s not so intense — but it’s pretty much always there. Arms rests on it.
At the same time, Annisokay fully embraces the stylistic flourishes that help define their corner of the music community. There’s not much EDM sounding work on the record; it stays solidly, but smoothly, in the heavy — and tangible — guitars, bass, and drums category. (Props to those who make non-tangible instrumentation work, though.) At times, the band gets brutal, but the instrumentation isn’t suffocating.
Instead, the record feels tailor made for the listener to design their own trek through it — although at the same time, Arms sounds like the band can all by itself stand proudly over the “world” it’s made. Different listeners might hang onto different points — and the same listener might find different points to hang onto upon repeated listens of the album. Arms sounds well-poised to fill such a role. It’s a lasting feeling work that doesn’t get too full of itself to keep it from what it can be if let free.
Annisokay has been around for a number of years at this point; Arms is their fourth full-length record. The 2018 release keeps the band’s spot in the scene indefinitely — and is a fitting reminder that there’s a lot of great music out there.