Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Animals As Leaders "The Madness Of Many" (2016)

Further exploring their texture driven acoustic Djent sound, American Progressive Metal trio Animals As Leaders return once again, taking another step towards abstraction with further removed time signatures and strange guitar manipulations for all sorts of mathematical grooves and acoustic breakdowns. Unfortunately its the more conventional guitar leads that make the record light up between there regular intervals of polyrhythms, a string of experimental guitar noises chugging through arrangements of complex, dexterous patterns that spark little emotion within me. Initially they are unusual and interesting, yet quickly become dull.

The record bounces back and forth between these luminous, colorful leads and textural experiments in time signatures. The result has no song reaching its purpose, pursuing any peaks or developing a path. They meander and meddle through the motions settled in the various, tempo, texture and identity of that particular song. Its been quite a disappointment after there last release "The Joy Of Motion", an experiment in Latin guitar sounds that was both inspired and technically brilliant. The technicality of this record is in bizarrely complex breakdown moments and guitar chugging that yields little groove, elasticity or much beyond a curiosity.

I've tried hard to love this record and one place it succeeds is in its pleasantries. Guitar leads are mostly gentle and soothing, aesthetics are gorgeous and in its ambience its a great record to not pay much attention too. One song "Ectognesis" starts with a synthesizer lead that opens a door but its involvement in the music is quickly drowned out. It teases at a subdued element in their sound stepping forward but it seemed to be a singular moment in the record. High expectations have left me disappointed but nothing here is particularly negative, it just feels as if these musicians are capable of more, this is a record that feels more calculated than inspired.

Favorite Track: Ectognesis
Rating: 5/10