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Animals As Leaders - The Madness of Many CD (album) cover


Animals As Leaders

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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3 stars When thinking about The Madness of Many, and even Animals as Leaders' legacy more generally, I find it helpful/interesting to compare them with another exciting but "out there" supergroup of an earlier generation: Emerson, Lake, & Palmer.

Like ELP, Animals are a group comprised of three wildly skilled musicians yet one of the members is clearly the driving artistic force behind the whole project. Both groups embraced non-conventional rock band makeups with ELP forgoing a regular guitarist and Animals forgoing a regular bassist. Instead, the leaders of both groups, Tosin Abasi and Keith Emerson of Animals and ELP respectively, embraced evolving electronic music technology and have decided to attack the rock format differently. And even when it comes to the music, I can't help but visualize Tosin tapping away on the lower registers of his 8-string while listening the opening Hammond Organ riff kicks off on ELP's "Tarkus."

But the most important comparison for the sake of this specific review is just how much both groups are capable of simultaneously delivering smooth sounding "hit worthy" material with head scratching experimentation. There are many moments on this record, as with ELP records, where the sentiment of the listener can't help but be, "That was pretty cool? but do I like it?" And although the answer is usually ends of being yes, its still not something I care to ask every time a pop on a record.

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Posted Saturday, December 14, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars As some may know, I have a love for instrumental prog rock. This album is totally instrumental, immaculately played, and unbelievably well produced. Tosin Abasi is an absolute beast when it comes down to playing guitar, he is a living legend, and a innovative guitarist as well. Matthew Garstka is also a total beast, his technical abilities behind the drum kit are mindboggling. Travis Stewart isn't an exactly important person on this album even though his atmospheres and sound effects are through the roof. Unfortunately, as well played and well crafted this album is, there is no emotion behind it all. That's my biggest complaint, Tosin Abasi a living guitar legend, he can play impossible riffs, and impossible solos, but he doesn't have soul in his music. His writes totally technical pieces, but nothing that grabs the listeners ear, it's all technique and no emotion. Music is a way to get out emotions, by pouring feelings and soul into your craft, you are able to make beautiful music. This has one of two important factors in prog, ability to play, but no feeling.

This album is impressive to listen to, but I will not be putting on to fit the mood I'm in, unless that mood is me wanting to be impressed by immaculate playing.

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Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2020 | Review Permalink
3 stars There is no doubt that Tosin Abasi is one hell of a guitarist. Their 4th studio album is no exception in terms of great command of instruments of both Abasi, Reyes and Garstka.

On the other hand this album lacks something the first two albums didn't. It's somehow difficult to explain but maybe it's the lack of a variation and experimentation between songs. I tried to find something new, however quite sadly, the songs sounded like repeating each other (with an exception of 'The Brain Dance'). I did manage to finish listening the whole album on my 3rd attempt.

In terms of songs, I enjoyed 'The Brain Dance' only.

The Madness of Many was quite disappointing for me but of course within the standart for a musician like Tosin Abasi. It's always a joy listening songs from such competant artists. That's way my rating is 3 out of 5.

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Posted Thursday, June 10, 2021 | Review Permalink

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