Animals As Leaders traverse time signatures and shine a spotlight on the low-end in dizzying new single, Gordian Naught

Tosin Abasi
(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Instrumental prog-metallers Animals As Leaders have dropped Gordian Naught, the third single from their forthcoming fifth studio album, Parrhesia.

The track – which follows two previously released singles Monomyth and The Problem of Other Minds – is as technically intricate, mind-bendingly chaotic and time signature-fluid as you'd expect from the Washington DC three-piece, packed with out-of-this-world electric guitar playing from Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes.

While there are some sublime upper-register runs, the lower strings of the duo's eight-strings are the real stars of the show here. Not only are those rapid-fire slapped lines unfathomably precise, but the tone is as thick as realistically possible without endangering speaker systems. Check it out below.

Due out March 25 via Sumerian Records, Parrhesia is Animals As Leaders' first full-length offering in over five years, following 2016's The Madness of Many. Its track list can be found below.

  1. Conflict Cartography
  2. Monomyth
  3. Red Miso
  4. Gesaltzerfall
  5. Asahi
  6. The Problem Of Other Minds
  7. Thoughts And Prayers
  8. Micro-Aggressions
  9. Gordian Night

“It’s been a while since we’ve released a body of work,” Abasi says. “We’re really proud of this collection of songs as well as the visual components, and are excited to share it with all of you.”

Last month, AAL announced a 19-date US tour in support of the record, which will take place in March and April this year. Commencing at Denver's Summit Music Hall on March 30, the run will stop in Chicago, Detroit, New York and more, before wrapping up at LA's Theater At The Ace Hotel on April 22.

Those lucky enough to watch the band play on the tour will no doubt see Tosin Abasi in fine form. Back in November, before the album was officially announced, Abasi showed he's sharper than ever with a fiery playthrough of Monomyth, which he delivered using his eight-string Abasi Concepts Master Series Larada.

Commenting on the track at the time, Abasi noted that it was composed primarily on the drums first by Matt Garstka, and the guitar was added afterwards. “Writing this way can be a fun challenge and the musical result can be fresh,” he said.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.