Ansoticca - 'Rise'

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Ansoticca - 'Rise'

AnsoticcA are something rather special in the femme metal world and I urge you to hear this wonderful album in its entirety.

How does a new female-fronted gothically-tinged symphonic metal band/project get noticed in a marketplace that is now full to overflowing with others having similar pretensions? The answer, dear Fireworks reader, is to produce a debut album that grabs your ears from the very first notes and refuses to let them go until an hour later! Admittedly this is a genre that very much appeals to me anyway, but as 'Rise' played out to me for the very first time, I found myself muttering various comments of disbelief! Subsequent plays have only reinforced how sensational a debut AnsoticcA has produced, and it is one that also introduces a progressive slant to the music in places.

The band (project at this point) includes members from both the Netherlands and Germany, and comprises (because you will need to know this when their reputation rises – which I promise you it most certainly will, and as has happened with Delain, the previous female-fronted band I tipped for success at an early stage) vocalist Carie Van Heden, guitarist Adrian Delborg, keyboardist Maarten de Vries, along with bassist Jay Zee and drummer Zack Rabarti.

Although 'Rise' will undoubtedly appeal to those who enjoy the music of bands such as Within Temptation, Epica, Nightwish and so on… Ansoticca are no mere clones of any of these – or, indeed, of any other female fronted band, and there is something remarkably fresh and sparkling about this album, which comes complete with a massive sound and excellent production that completely fills the space between the speakers! Opening with a short atmospheric instrumental 'A New Dawn', we are soon whisked away into the guitar-driven metal of 'Endless Sacrifice' and one is immediately captivated by Carie's clear and resonant vocals. 'Heaven Burns' ratchets everything up another notch; this is as catchy as hell and includes some interesting effects. The title track is very different: a slow and melancholic piece that builds into a brooding symphonic monster with soaring guitar. By contrast again, 'I'm Alive' is a hypnotic, intense song with more of those magnificent vocals and this gives way to one of the really amazing songs here: 'In Silence'. I cannot stress too strongly how badly you need to hear this powerful, deeply melodic and emotional song – and indeed the whole of the album!

Look, I could eulogise for a whole page, if it was available – but, please, just mark my words. AnsoticcA are something rather special in the femme metal world and I urge you to hear this wonderful album in its entirety and tell me that I'm wrong…. AnsoticcA have just raised the entry level bar for this sub-genre! Wow!!

Paul Jerome Smith

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