4 out of 5 Stars!
Germany’s Ansoticca released only a single album in 2010 before seemingly disappearing. But I hope not for good. Indeed, the female singer (Carie van Heden) has more than a fair share of talent. She’s melodic and strong, while also appropriately dramatic, within the band’s framework.
Rise is a commendable effort, especially considering Ansoticca’s proclivity for replicating the similar musical stylings of Nightwish, After Forever, Epica, and some of their heavier contemporaries within the same Symphonic Metal and Gothic Metal genres. Indeed, look no further than the brief instrumental opening track “A New Dawn” for an example of this style—fans of the genre wouldn’t be shocked to hear this appearing as the opener on albums by any of the aforementioned groups. But on the following well-produced tracks, including “Endless Sacrifice,” “Our Time,” “Weight of the World,” “Heaven Burns,” and “In Silence,” display the band’s unique signature stamp, thanks mostly to Carie’s vocals, where (unlike the other groups) she employs very little in the way of the operatic, falsetto vocals normally associated with the genre, but is quite straightforward, more Rock/Metal-oriented, in her approach to delivering the melodies.
Overall, I felt Ansoticca had major potential, especially when it came to Carie van Heden’s stellar performances, the seemingly endless layers of grand keyboards, as well as the dark and punchy guitar riffs and pounding rhythms. And thankfully, at least when it comes to my tastes, the band left the typically annoying “beast/growl” male vocals to a minimum.