When you think of the Seattle music scene, your mind immediately goes towards the grunge scene with bands like Nirvana and the like. Very rarely do you think of the prog and technical rock side of the group, but this band aim to change your mind on such things. A Sense Of Gravity are here to give you sixty two minutes of something heavy, something gripping and almost something on the theatrical side of things!
You can already feel the more anthem side of the band immediately with the first track ‘Drowning In The Ink’ which, whilst it brings something fresh and really exciting, for an album opener it has a misleading quality to it. It sounds like something out of a Broadway musical with the orchestral and piano parts with C.J. Jenkins providing very touching melodies with his voice during the softer parts, making it a more stand out element of the track. Don’t worry for those who like their guitars, the next track brings that in spades with their latest single ‘Reclusive Peace’ which breaks out the technicality from the get go and shows off what the rest of the band can bring to the table. Ferocious drums, a whole array of guitar tones and a lethal low scream that makes the record sound more extreme metal than anything. It feels like the band is coming more into their own as it progresses further and further.
Like with a lot of progressive and technical showing of these style of bands, they give themselves a lot of minutes in each song to flow through many intricacies. The longest track on the record does that, with ‘Manic Void’ kicking off like it was the start of a boss fight in a Final Fantasy game. As the track progresses you feel you can pan out what magic attacks you’d use to attack the creatures with the synth taking control of the lead parts. The longer tracks tend to go on a more heavier route with this track incorporating some elements of deathcore into it. Other tracks such as ‘Guise Of Complacency’ do follow a more tech metal route with once again the cleans making a nice touch to the ever flowing guitars. All three guitarists know what they are making themselves capable of with each member either heightening each other or working with each other to create a beautiful set of harmonies amongst one another.
The drums provide a nice and sharp punch from start to finish with songs like ‘The Divide’ going one way with a more softer approach to what you might be used to hearing on the record up to tracks such as ‘The Projectionist’ which goes fuller into faster drum patterns reminiscent of thrash metal. The production and mix throughout the record has a great well-rounded sound to it all with nothing sounding drowned out or overwhelming which always amounts to a great album. The only think that seems to be lacking is that the album tends to cater to two different audiences and with that you will get a few tracks that people might not enjoy. For the casual listener of all things metal, a song like ‘I, Recreant’ will be a great listen for you. For the more advanced technological person who has a knack for the genre this song might not please all of the senses, but there will be tracks that will get their earbuds salivating, such is that of ‘Promised None’ which goes on that Animals As Leaders vibe in terms of keeping in time and being more show off with its skill and technical detail.
Overall, this record definitely brings it in many attributes and leaves very few blemishes for people to pick at. Whilst it might not be gripping for everyone from front to back, there will always be those hidden gems they wont be able to stop listening to.
Ever since the release of their first ever self titled record, Animals As Leaders have been doing their best to progress and push the genre to create something completely unique and utterly mind boggling for the listener. The same can be said for this fourth offering which is undoubtedly one of their craziest and most intricate offerings they aim to bring to the table in the world of progressive metal.
Flying out the gate with the ever head-crunching ‘Arithmophobia’, you can tell the band aren’t here to mess about or slow down any time soon. As with some of the sections keeping in time with the 4/4 structure you feel set out in some parts, following along to many parts of the song does feel like you’re having to sit there with a calculator trying to map every single change out and tempo structure. Moving onwards to ‘Ectogenesis’, the rhythm sound punches through so crisp cut that you wouldn’t believe that there isn’t any bass guitar on the record from a newcomer listening in. The skill and tone that both Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes produce on the record is ungodly and such an orgasmic touch to the senses.
Another great part of this record is the simplistic, yet technical programming touches added to this record giving it a new lease on life. The amount of different flowing sounds that are produced off the next track ‘Cognitive Contortions’ are simply awe-inspiring and once again reach to the insane djent heights that this band are always great at reaching with their musical skill. Even ‘Inner Assassins’ with the spacey ending in the background feeling like something out of a video game staring at the night sky, whilst the rest of the track incorporates the more action packed side of the band to a new degree.
Going into the guitar tone, it varies what you will get throughout the record. From the low growling tones that seem to pierce through on ‘Backpfeifengesicht’ before you get to the sections where it sounds like someone hitting a wooden xylophone in triplets. The leads always bounce through during the solo sections whilst the rhythm boisterously keeps the record sounding all inclusive. With a different sound from the record, breaking into ‘The Brain Dance’ with a more acoustic guitar orientated piece, the sweet high plucks of the guitar strings ring through so methodically and add such a great resonance to that track.
Moving finally to the drums to which without the expertise of Matt Garstka fuelling the backing track of the entire record, there wouldn’t be much to credit for such flawless patterns and crushing time signature heavy sections mushed into one. Whilst the record isn’t necessarily about the drum playing and the whole construction that the record is about, the specific way that he plays to help accentuate different parts of the guitar play, such as in ‘Private Visions of The World’, it helps kick the sound up that little bit more to make everything sound that more dignified and perfect.
For fans of technical rock, technical metal and djent, this record is what will be talked out in many years to come as the meaning of the word ‘progressive’. If you look all the way back through their older material up to this point now, you feel a positive breath escape you because of the amount of perfection being crafted into this. It’s simply eye bulging.
Bringing the absolute nuttiest instrumental progressive metal, Animals As Leaders released a new song titled ‘Arithmophobia‘. Being the fear of numbers, its going to be agreeable how its time signatures aren’t going to be making everyone feel like their head will explode. Check the song out below.
Their new album ‘The Madness Of Many‘ will be released on November 11th via Sumerian Records.
Instrumental Prog-pioneers Animals As Leaders will return in November with a brand new album. The bands fourth album The Madness Of Many sees them raise their creative and technical game. Following the success of last album The Joy Of Motion, the band will head out on a select set of European dates later this year. You can see the cover art for The Madness Of Many below.
The Madness Of Many will be released November 11th via Sumerian Records. You can catch the band on their European tour at one of the below dates.
Sept-30 Euroblast Festival
Oct-01 Klub Alibi Wrocław, Poland
Oct-02 Progresja Music Zone Warsaw, Poland
Oct-03 Sentry Kiev, Ukraine
Oct-04 клуб RE:PUBLIC Minsk, Belarus
Oct-08 Havana Club Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Instrumental modern progressive pioneers Animals As Leaders have announced that their highly anticipated fourth album The Madness Of Many will be released on 11th November via Sumerian Records.
Following the stunning The Joy of Motion, which cemented the band as one of the most innovative musical forces of this generation, The Madness Of Many sees the band raise their creative and technical game even further.