Release Date: Nov 11, 2016
Record label: Sumerian Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Two of the better showings in progressive metal this year share a common thread. Devin Townsend's Transcendence saw the multi-instrumentalist get the members of his group involved in the record's writing stage more than ever before, having a noticeable impact on how the finished product played out. With The Madness of Many, Animals as Leaders have done the same, giving a welcome refresh to a sound the trio have undoubtedly mastered.
Ever since the cartoonish screaming face of In the Court of the Crimson King, progressive rock has often felt like a mirror to the mind at its most active and untamable, transmitting feelings of anxiety through complex, intricate compositions. The genre has also always been an outlet for some of rock’s most capable musicians to put their skills to good use, though sometimes (especially with the help of sterile modern-day studio production) to the point of impenetrability. After debuting in 2009 as the solo project of Nigerian-American eight-string guitar wizard Tosin Abasi, Animals As Leaders have walked the tightrope between sheer technical virtuosity and actual emotional resonance, occasionally with thrilling results.