What does Anoice sound like?
Equal parts experimental cinematic ambience and neo-classical darkness.
The review of Anoice – Unerasable Fire
Instrumental band Anoice prepares an audio treat with every release and it usually tells a story. I’ve yet to find another band that scratches quite the same cinematic and symphonic itch as Anoice. Their mix of ambient, neo-classical, modern jazz and experimental electronica allows Anoice to paint a richly detailed narrative and this EP is very much a sister to their previous work ‘invisible wall’. In that, dark and quiet moods gave way to moments of emotional release. The same applies here as if the EP was recorded as Invisible Wall’s aftermath.
The EP opens with ‘civil war’, which mixes tense, long orchestral string pulls against a worn down and damaged electronica background. Room noise, bubbling water, processed glitching vocal snippets and buzzing industrial basslines create a harsh white noise wind storm. The track gets deeper and lower as it gets harsher and more like sandpaper, creating a cinematic spectacle. Cinematic, but in a very different way is ‘the suspicion’. This track sounds like a single glass bell note that has been drawn out over six minutes. Various other tuned percussion and ambient noises slowly break into an evergrowing swell, and frequencies change to keep the listener off-kilter. It’s a very clever track that would suit any thriller during a conversational reveal scene.
Piano is the only instrument in ‘isolation’, which acts as a reflective and damning half-time cleanser. Slow, methodical and often expressing just a couple of keys several octaves apart, it’s as if even the keys played here are kept in isolation. After this, Anoice kicks into their modern jazz with the dramatic ‘monster’. Full drums, guitars, raging piano, a wailing saxophone and dramatic strings – this plays out like a boss battle theme. Indeed, my mind was drawn to the Shadow Hearts series as it matches the distinctive gothic flair of Anoice and this track. It is the big cinematic piece and leaves us with the highly experimental ambience of ‘keep silence’ to round out the release. This piece starts out angelic and ethereal with light percussive blips, whispered vocals and gentle piano before the piano notes become just as much reversed as they do played normally. This leads to the track starting to become bass driven and as the light silence fades, a dark reverberating grizzled synth takes over. I take this as a comment on silence being akin to being left to burn.
A sombre release, full of dark quiet moments of clarity, Anoice are just as poetic when they are sad as they are when in full bloom. Whilst ‘unerasable fire’ is perfectly great on its own, I really enjoyed it paired with Anoice’s previous EP ‘invisible wall’. They just work so well as a pair and when viewed through the pandemic lens, tell a before-and-after tale. I think it is definitely one of the most poetic and narratively strong pieces of pandemic-influenced music I’ve enjoyed to date. That said, anyone who enjoys darker neo-classical music with strong gothic RPG vibes will love this.
Recommended track: monster
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