Published on November 30, 2011

I've listened to a million progressive metal bands in my days. They were my bread and butter when I was a teenager; I didn't care how lame the lyrics were, as long as the music was super-complex. BLIND GUARDIAN wrote whole albums about Tolkien! PAIN OF SALVATION's least-lame concept album was about nuclear waste! Kind of embarrassing in retrospect.

But yeah, I've never cared much about metal lyrics. They're usually dumb! I love metal singers, but I don't want to know what they're singing about! Ignorance is bliss. 'Instrumental' means nobody's going to make fun of you for listening to music about dragons. Not that you'd ever give a fuck what anyone else thinks.

ANIMALS AS LEADERS are the best prog metal band these days. They've got complex rhythms, sick riffs, and...god, there's just nothing lame about it! It's heavy through-and-through.

Their guitarist Tobin Abasi plays a custom 8-string guitar because six strings was just a waste of his potential. Check out these videos if you're a guitar nerd like me. Otherwise, just watch this:

This video showcases their musicianship, yet is also 'artsy' in that Tool-inspired, whatthefuckisgoingon way. That's exactly what I want from metal videos. Music videos in general, really.

I saw AAL open for THURSDAY and UNDEROATH earlier this year. Everyone left the show talking about AAL because they were so unexpectedly amazing. Anyway, their new album Weightless is one of my favorites of the year, so without further ado, here's the heaviest song:

Animals as Leaders - New Eden

Spiral out, y'all.