• John Van de Mergel

Sounds | Animals As Leaders, The Problem of Other Minds


De nieuwe single gaat bijna volledig richting prog metal qua structuur en gitaarpartijen en de bijhorende stijlvolle video zit knap in elkaar. Ik vroeg me af of dit technisch sterke instrumentale trio me wel een volledig album zou kunnen boeien. Als de variatie behouden blijft - luister én kijk maar eens naar de eerste single (hieronder): een best gekke mix van djent (riffs) en prog (lead gitaar en ritmesectie) met een bizar-freaky video - dan kan Parrhesia wel eens een zéér boeiend album worden. Een eerste kennismaking voor deze jongen.

Parrhesia verschijnt op 25 maart 2022 via Sumerian Records.


Luister ook naar: Monomyth


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Speaking on the album announcement and the band's single & music video, Tosin Abasi shares “It’s been a while since we’ve released a body of work. We’re really proud of this collection of songs as well as the visual components, and are excited to share it with all of you”.


It might sound strange to associate “storytelling” with instrumental music. But Animals As Leaders jettisoned the rules, limitations, and boundaries of conventional rock music from the start. Armed with palette-expanding eight-string guitars, rich synths, and pummeling percussive grooves, the trio is beloved by metalheads, aspiring virtuosos, jazz fanatics, and casual listeners alike. As Pitchfork observed “Animals As Leaders have walked the tightrope between sheer technical virtuosity and actual emotional resonance”. Even without vocals, this is intimate, myth-making music.


Animals As Leaders began as a solo outlet for guitarist Tosin Abasi, whose creative partnership with classically trained guitarist Javier Reyes and Berklee-educated drummer Matt Garstka is built on a shared love of everything from fusion to technical death metal. Garstka graced the cover of Modern Drummer in 2015. In one of his many appearances on their cover, Guitar World named Tosin among the Guitarists of the Decade. Rolling Stone featured him as part of their “Young Guns” series. The Chicago Tribune declared him “the closest thing prog-metal has to an Eddie Van Halen”.


Kerrang! included their album, 'Weightless' among its Best Albums of 2011. 'The Joy of Motion' entered the Billboard 200 at No. 24 in 2014, and 'The Madness of Many' cracked the Top 20 in 2016. Now more than a decade into their career, a quick look at the bands they’ve toured with demonstrates the consistently diverse appeal of Animals As Leaders. It’s a list that includes Korn, Deftones, Thrice, Meshuggah, Underoath, TesseracT, and Circa Survive as well as major festivals with the likes of Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold, and Slipknot.


Animals As Leaders offer more than clinic-ready musicianship and proficiency. A focus on mood, texture, and emotive power elevates the material past any preconceived notions, resulting in a fascinatingly unique phenomenon, with an unlikely and profound appeal across multiple sub-genres and over 200 million career streams to date.


“We all know how talented the guys in Animals As Leaders are. Absurdly talented” declared Metal Sucks. “They are one of the finest, most interesting units in modern music”.


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