Album review: Animals As Leaders – Parrhesia

Animals As Leaders, the world’s most dexterous band, dislocate your brain on long awaited fifth full-length…

Album review: Animals As Leaders – Parrhesia
Dan Slessor

Animals As Leaders are saddled with the best kind of problem. Their 2009 self-titled debut is arguably one of the 10 best metal records of the 21st century, meaning they have spent their whole career trying to live up to this. To their credit, they have released stunning record after stunning record of contorted instrumental wondrousness, and with fifth full-length Parrhesia, they once again do their damnedest to match it. It makes for sublime listening.

Agitated opener Conflict Cartography makes it clear we’re in crunchier territory than 2016’s The Madness Of Many, swirling gorgeously and making most guitarists sound half-arsed. As is always the case, despite the complexity there is a logic to everything that they do, and a natural flow, no matter how deranged. Of this, the electronica-dusted skittering of Red Miso is a great example, with its off-time beats and graceful leads.

The relatively brief synth-drenched Asahi makes for a nice change of mood, conjuring a more brooding air, while album highlight The Problem Of Other Minds packs all that is good about the band into just two and a half minutes, and doing so in a somewhat restrained way.

They may still not match their very best, but Parrhesia is a solid addition to the Animals As Leaders canon. For anyone searching for music that is as cerebral as it is emotional, then look no further than this record, for it overflows with feeling while doing its best to tie your thinking parts in knots.

Rating: 4/5

For fans of: Meshuggah, The Faceless, Scale The Summit

Parrhesia is released on March 25 via Sumerian

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