by Aaron Gidney
Budapest’s Ann My Guard return with a follow up to 2018’s ‘Moira’ album with a seven track EP.
The Hungarian Alternative Metallers are in fine form on this 24 minute EP, mixing tight down-tuned thick riffage with a perfect blend of melody and atmosphere.
Opening instrumental ‘Eclipse’ is an atmospheric soundscape with ethereal vocals, slowly building towards ‘Nyx’ which begins with lo-fi Djent/Tech Metal riffage before introducing the vocals of Eszter Anna Baumann (who also happens to be the band’s Bassist). The choruses are catchy and offers a nice juxtoposition to the deep, low string thick riffage of the guitars.
‘Furia’ bursts into life after a tease of synth electronics – this one doesn’t mess about and the vocals enter the fray immediately with a frantic rush to get to the finish line. There’s a familiar Tech Metal breakdown, although it’s a nice change to hear this with vocals over the top – this is clearly a maturer approach and demonstrates a focus on songwriting rather than mindless Djent machine gun breakdowns. There’s an accessibility to these tracks and dare I say, almost a pop sensibility to some of the choruses – which is going to appeal to many.
Whilst the guitars are naturally very loud in the mix, the layers of vocals and harmonies manage to cut through and keep the focus of the listener.
‘Child’s Play’ introduces some synths and continues the pop vocal approach, albeit broken up by some fairly brutal guitar breakdowns. It slows down in the middle, accompanied by some piano, which is a nice touch before relenting back into the wall of vocals. The only minor criticism I have of this, is perhaps one of the lead vocals could have been slighter brought up in the mix rather than getting slightly lost in the layers of backing vocals.
‘The Mourning consists of a military-style marching snare drum roll in unison with the guitar and bass – there’s a tinge of the opening of Dream Theater’s ‘The Dance of Eternity’ here which is absolutely no bad thing!
‘Aurora’ is the longest track on the EP, clocking in at just shy of 6 minutes. There’s a subtle use of more ethereal, angelic voices during the opening 30 seconds before electronic stuttering into a massive drum fill. Once the vocals kick in, it’s in a more laid back, deliberate style of delivery before entering a massive chorus flip-flopping between half and double time, which adds some good variety. Whilst the track is less immediate than some of the earlier ones, it certainly feels more rewarding given the use of light and shade throughout. It’s by far the highlight of the EP.
Closer, ‘V0id’ was already released as a single in January 2020 and again heavily features a wall of melodic vocals on the chorus. The verses are a slower build and a nice contrast with the chorus. There’s another tight breakdown before a final majestic chorus to finish the EP off in memorable fashion.
A solid EP for fans of Alt/Tech Metal with choruses and it’s great to see bands emerging from Eastern Europe offering quality music like this.
- Child’s Play
- The Mourning