Animals as Leaders – Parrhesia

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Artist: Animals as Leaders

Album: Parrhesia

Label: Sumerian Records

Release Date: 03/25/2022

Location: Washington, D.C.

I am admittedly not a fan of most bands who don’t have a vocalist. I’ve been a metal vocalist all my life and that has been the factor that draws me in and makes me extremely picky about the vocalists and styles that I like. It takes something special for me to get into a band that just doesn’t need a vocalist and Animals as Leaders has been that band for me.

Animals as Leaders began in Washington, D.C. in 2007 and have previously released three other albums of pure Djent wizardry. “Perrhesia” is a return to a heavier sound they sort of abandoned for a jazzy stint on their last album, 2016’s “The Madness of Many” and it is all the better for it. Tosin has literally outdone himself. The heavy eights string riffs are back and that low end can be felt on every track. Showing off technical and mathematical ability like no other band before them.

This time produced by none other than Periphery’s Misha Mansoor, the “metal” is up front and serious this time around. Clocking in at a short 37 minutes, “Perrhesia” wastes no time lulling you into the sweeping soundscapes and jarring time signatures that are the band’s bread and butter. Opening with the pure jam “Conflict Cartography” Tobin and the band show you that this isn’t gonna be an easy listening situation. Full of bombastic and energetic drumming and bottom end riffing courtesy of Matt Garstka and Javier Reyes respectively. Leaving almost no room for a bass guitar that is subtly inched in by Misha Mansoor.

Other tracks like “Monomyth” and “Gordian Naught” show us a tightness and extreme level of virtuosity that almost puts the other bands who claim to be progressive to shame. Blazing through the entire album is a level of inventiveness that the band has never attempted creating a cohesive sound throughout and pushing the earworm melodies into your skull like never before.

Animals as Leaders has killed it again, creating a fun soundscape of pure progressive metal that needs to be heard to believed. Put this album on with some headphones and soak it up as a whole. It’s a short listen that will likely continue to grow on you on further listens.

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