Album Review: Animals As Leaders – The Madness of Many



1. Arithmophobia
2. Ectogenesis
3. Cognitive Contortions
4. Inner Assassins
5. Private Visions of the World
6. Backpfeifengesicht
7. Transcentience
8. The Glass Bridge
9. The Brain Dance
10. Aepirophobia

Released November 11, 2016 via Sumerian Records

Since the arrival of their self-titled debut onto the mainstream metal scene in 2009, Washington D.C.’s Animals As Leaders have carved out their own winding path up and down the progressive metal mountain. Led by Nigerian-American guitarist Tosin Abasi, the instrumental trio is determined to keep pace with fans’ expectations as they release their fourth studio album, The Madness of Many, with familiar faces Javier Reyes on guitar and Matt Garstka on drums. Boasting the same lineup as heard on 2014’s They Joy of Motion, the madness continues on as AAL’s patented technical riffing prowess is captured and expressed in 10 songs averaging 5 minutes apiece.

While the slower tempo and longer time-stamp of these 10 new tracks offer a refreshing change of pace compared to the non-stop riffing and jamming of their previous albums, the focus on each member’s elite musicianship remains constant. According to Javier Reyes (via, The Madness of Many is “an explorative and ambitious journey of harmony, rhythm, musical expression and emotion. It has been the most collaborative effort for the band and an evolution in each of the members’ musical path”. Tosin Abasi agrees, stating that the album feels like “total synergy between the three of us. None of this music would have turned out the same way without the equal inclusion of all of our musical ideas and that feels special. We’re beyond thrilled with the result.”

Longtime listeners of Animals As Leaders should be excited because while The Madness of Many offers more of the virtuoso Abasi-Reyes duo they’re familiar with, there are also a few new elements to mull over, such as the Middle Eastern vibe on the opening track “Arithmophobia” that transitions nicely into the next song, “Ectogenesis”, which includes a sample-fueled introduction. Furthermore, as fans have come to expect, there are tracks on the album such as “Cognitive Contortions” and “Inner Assassins” that will leave you in awe, wondering how it’s possible to make so many different sounds on a guitar in one piece of music. Crunchy, yet melodic. Chaotic, yet methodical. Poly-rhythms and odd time signatures for days. A fine addition to an already impressive discography from Animals As Leaders.


Check out Animals As Leaders on tour with Plini and Intervals in a town near you!

11/10 — Scottsdale, AZ — Livewire
11/11 — Pomona, CA— The Glass House
11/12 — Las Vegas, NV — Vinyl
11/14 — Portland, OR  — Hawthorne Theatre
11/15 — Seattle, WA — Studio Seven
11/16 — Vancouver, BC — Commodore Ballroom
11/18 — Calgary, AB — Macewan Ballroom
11/19 — Edmonton, AB— Union Hall
11/20 — Saskatoon, SA — O’Brian’s Event Centre
11/21 — Winnipeg, MB — The Garrick Centre
11/23 — Minneapolis, MN — Fine Line Music Café
11/25 — Chicago, IL — Bottom Lounge
11/26 — Pontiac, MI — The Crofoot Ballroom
11/27 — Columbus, OH — Park Street Saloon
11/28 — Toronto, ON — Opera House
11/29 — Montreal, QC — Corona Theatre
11/30 — Boston, MA — Royale
12/1 — New York, NY — Webster Hall
12/2 — Philadelphia, PA — The Trocadero
12/3 — Millvale, PA — Mr. Small’s Theatre
12/4 — Washington, D.C. –9:30 Club
12/6 — St. Petersburg, FL — State Theatre
12/7 — Atlanta, GA — Terminal West
12/8 — New Orleans, LA — Republic New Orleans
12/9 — Houston, TX— White Oak Music Hall
12/10 — Austin, TX — Mohawk
12/11 — Dallas, TX — Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill
12/12 — Kansas City, MO — The Riot Room
12/15 — Los Angeles, CA — The Mayan
12/16 — Orangevale, CA — The Boardwalk
12/17 — San Francisco, CA — Social Hall SF

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