The last new music we heard from djent forefathers Animals As Leaders was 2016’s The Madness of Many, a record which both excited longtime fans of the experimental band and hardened the anti-djent resolve of contrarian metalheads. Now, the genre-bending trio have returned with their first new track since that album, via a creepy, cinematic new music video.
The new song, “Monomyth,” definitely maintains Animals As Leaders’ traditional sonic profile, mixing kinetic, grinding chugs with twinkling moments of ethereal guitar work. The dudes have definitely streamlined their sound on this one, though — there’s no fat on “Monomyth,” only lean, rhythmic noise that keeps the listener involved the whole time.
The video, meanwhile, is incredibly powerful, but will give trypophobic viewers a bit of a stomach churn. Directed by Telavaya Reynolds, the footage features a troupe of Cenobite-ish dancers performing a series of movements as accompaniment to the track’s sound. Sometimes staccato, sometimes languid, the ensemble’s sudden twitches and twists might remind one of, say, gypsy moth caterpillars convulsing in unison within a silk hive (look it up, it’s gross). There also seems to be some amount of commentary on metal fandom in the dancers’ behavior, given their use of headbanging and slow-mo moshing at times (though maybe that’s just our fucking liberal arts degrees talking, and we need to calm down).
“‘Monomyth‘ is part fever dream, part ritual,” says guitarist Tosin Abasi in a sentence that only he and maybe Pablo Neruda could utter with complete seriousness. “Its imagery represents man’s ceaseless attempts to translate transcendent ideas into movement. The conflation of struggle with meaning. Pain with significance. The ultimate failure of distilling perceived patterns in the world into knowledge.”
Check out Animals As Leaders’ “Monomyth” below:
Animals As Leaders’ “Monomyth” single is available for download. Check out the jarring yet deeply cool single art below:
Words by Chris Krovatin