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Animals as Leaders — The Madness of Many

Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

★★★☆ This is perhaps AAL’s best album since their 2009 debut. The band take a more spartan, less-distorted approach to their fourth album, which pays off handsomely. AAL’s brand of metal has always been less about walls of overdriven sound and more about precisely frenetic rhythm, and that’s all the truer here, where clean strings are even more predominant. With this renovated sonic space, the band’s latent jazz inclinations have more room to flourish, even as they’re bolstered by some seriously next-level djentisms. (And the flamenco-inspired album closer is a lovely touch.)