Annisokay // Shields // Fixation // Live Review // Rescue Rooms // Nottingham

Annisokay is a 4-piece German metal band. Formed in 2007, the band have had a couple member changes since then, but are currently going strong with their new EP release, Abyss part I, which has been received well by fans and critics alike. The band are currently on their UK run of the “Abyss tour” and join us tonight at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham on a cold Friday night.

Fixation were the opener for the show. Hailing from Norway and formed in 2020, the band took the stage with incredible energy from the get go. It’s hard to believe the band are still relatively young in their career, with their debut album only coming out this year and they already have an amazing stage presence that pretty much hinges on the vocalist, with the stage being so small the other members can’t move too much, but the vocalist makes the stage feel bigger with his constant moving around.

The music itself, being my first time hearing, has a great alternative vibe to it. Music for fans of Thirty Seconds to Mars and Muse (listen to “What We Have Done” and tell me that isn’t Muse vibes). It had the crowd who didn’t know them bobbing their heads, and the fans who probably waited ages to see them again, screaming the lyrics at the barrier.

The vocalist wasn’t shy around the fans. Where he could find a break in the songs, he was reaching out to the extended hands of the crowd and fist bumping anyone with a fist out (which only encouraged more fists to unearth from beyond the barrier). It’s always a heartwarming sight to see when the frontmen of a band go out of their way to engage with the fans below.

Fixation wrapped their set with a bow. It’s hard to believe they’re just the opener, the cheer from the crowd highlighted the unquestionable fact that they’d gained new fans tonight and will most likely have an entire army ready for them when they next return to the UK. The band have great promise and I’m excited to see where they go.

Shields were the second support for the night. I couldn’t find an official bio for this band to make sure I had all the details right so I’ll just say what I observed and hope it’s correct…Mark get ready for a message from me saying “CAN YOU CHANGE THIS DETAIL PLEASE”… The metal band have returned, after actually disbanding a few years ago, with their new single, “Bury Me”, and touring with their old friends Annisokay on their UK run.

I was immediately hit by the harsh vocals of the scream vocalist. Then came the softer vocals by the guitarist. The pair make a great combination with voices that compliment each other. The fry screams hit the mark exactly as they were supposed to and if you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ll know I’m a sucker for them fry screams.

The harsh vocalist was hopping around the stage like he had an energy he had to release, once again making the stage feel much bigger even though a massive black covered drum kit covers almost half the stage ready for Annisokay. That didn’t hinder the vocalist though and his energy was just what the crowd needed to maintain the vibes for the night. Imagine my shock when the guitarist also added in some harsh vocals. His screams deeper than that of the formal harsh singer.

The band had nailed down the moshing-in-unison party trick, utilising it during the breakdowns and further adding to the energy they brought to the stage. I love when bands mosh in unison I just think to myself “Oh my god, they’re doing the thing”…anyway- Backed up by the venue’s flashing lights that just brought the whole set together.

The vocalist announced their thanks and love for Nottingham before leaving the stage to “boom boom boom, I want you in my room” with multi coloured lights flashing from the stage. When typing it out almost makes it look like I’m just writing about a fever dream I had but I swear it happened.

As the final intermission began, I did my usual and scoured over the copious amount of band shirts to see what kind of crowd are drawn into our headliner. Their was a great mix among the crowd with shirts for: Ice Nine Kills, Electric Callboy, Stray From the Path, a Naruto headband and Thousand Below. A clear range for the fans that these bands can bring in, from theatrical to electronic dance metal – and all modern too, which goes to show that Annisokay is currently riding the wave for the resurgence of metal.

TV screens were set up during the intermission, this the first time I’m reviewing or photographing a band with such displays. I have to say the visuals the band had to accompany the songs really do compliment the performance by adding some atmosphere to the sound.

The harsh vocals of the vocalist really did hit. The low screams were guttural and had a great tone to them. The harsh vocals perfectly paired with the soft vocals of the guitarist/vocalist. They introduced their song “Good Stories” and dedicated the song to the fans here with them tonight as thanks for their support.

About halfway through the set, the band announced that they and everyone here was at the gig to have a good time and any issues people should speak to security…I come to see there’d already been a scuffle in the pit (a growing epidemic for smaller metal shows). I caught the sight of an older man being escorted out by guards by a bear hug from behind. Sometimes, I wonder if I should start an interview series where I just ask the fighters what they fighting about cause why though? You just got kicked out and wasted your own money?

Once the band addressed the elephant in the room, they were able to get straight back into it, much to fan’s delight. The crowd was going absolutely wild for the performance. A hand always up in the pit with devil horns. The band jumped in unison during the build ups, getting the crowd pumped and jumping along with them. It’s always the signs of a great performance when they can effortlessly get the crowd to match their energy. With a cover of Linkin Park “One Step Closer”, the crowd had finally come together to just celebrate the love of music.

It was great hearing the shouts of the crowd as they sang along to every song. Every song ended to an abundance of cheers, and as the band left the stage the venue echoed with all the love the fans clearly have for the band (only amplified by how long they had to wait for a headline tour). The shouts of “one more song” began and on the band came to a fan favourite from the new EP, “Calamity“.

Fans left the building with smiles on their faces and breathing heavily from the amount of moshing they were doing. It was a great night, with great performances all around. Annisokay have two more dates in the UK, before heading out to Europe to finish their Abyss tour with Fixation – both of whom you don’t want to miss.

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