Out in support of the tenth anniversary of their breakout, eponymous debut full-length, famed instrumental progressive DC metal outfit Animals As Leaders are set to return to town tonight, May 24, to headline Cannery Ballroom with Indianapolis prog metal group and frequent tourmates The Contortionist, as well as buzzy Long Island prog metal up and comers Moon Tooth. Fans of hard-hitting, technical, and, of course, heavy bands could hardly ask for a better lineup than this, and tickets are still available right here! Read on for more about the show.
ANIMALS AS LEADERS
Born out of the ashes of prog metal mavens Reflux, Washington, DC’s Animals As Leaders were founded by guitarist Tosin Abasi, one of the most gifted players in the heavy music scene. The guy can shred so quickly that it’s difficult to even tell when one note stops and another starts. However, Abasi, guitarist Javiar Reyes, and drummer Matt Garstka where not content simply running through scales at 9000 BPM; they also make an admirable effort to tell a story through their music. The result is a instrumental progressive metal sound that is distinctly different from most any other contemporary act, making them a prominent part of the djent subgenre. So far, Animals have put out four studio albums, the most recent of which, The Madness of Many, dropped in 2016 (with a celebrated live album out of the following year), and they’re currently hard at work on a followup. Sonically, the band have matured quite a bit since their eponymous debut album a decade ago, settling into a unique and unparalleled sound, but it remains a fan favorite, and is certainly cause for a 10-year celebration. Having already made a name for themselves in the metal scene, clocking in countless hours touring with the likes of Underoath, Decapitated, Circa Survive, and Between the Buried and Me, the band are are a must-see live for any fan of technical, progressive metal, and always a treat when they pass through town.
An act who are no strangers to sharing the stage with Animals As Leaders, Indianapolis group The Contortionist share the prog metal tendencies of the headliners, and, over the past twelve years, four full-lengths, and four EPs, have earned a solid reputation for being one of the best, most consistent acts in the modern metal scene. They’ve toured with the likes of Hatebreed, All Shall Perish, Protest the Hero, Between the Buried and Me, Nothing More, Dance Gavin Dance, and more, so you’d better believe they’re more than qualified to bring their own slice of progressive metal to this show. Unlike AAL, The Contortionist’s music does include vocals, and while squarely in line with the modern metal scene, they incorporate influences of classic prog rock, hard rock, ambient music and broader metal, making their sound particularly eclectic. Notably, their most recent release, 2017’s Clairvoyant, features little to no screamed vocals, making The Contortionist, like Animals As Leaders, a great entry point for fans of extreme and progressive technical prowess who might not be as drawn to the more extreme sides of the metal scene.
Opening things up, Long Island’s Moon Tooth erupted onto the scene in 2016 with their debut full-length, Chromaparagon, and followed it up earlier this year with well-received sophomore effort Crux, which they crafted with the aid of Lamb of God’s Mark Morton and record producer Machine. With their progressive, aggressive metal sound, rabid energy, and hard-hitting live show, they’ve managed not only to craft heavy yet accessible music that sets them apart in the modern metal landscape, but also to land as a band with critical appeal to a host of tastemaking, non-metal press outlets. With a relentless tour schedule the past few years, they’re already a road-worn, electrifying live act, and definitely a must-see for any self-respecting metal fan. Don’t be late!
Animals As Leaders, The Contortionist, and Moon Tooth will perform tonight, May 24 at Cannery Ballroom. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $28.