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Animals As Leaders

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Animals As Leaders Weightless album cover
3.93 | 220 ratings | 6 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. An Infinite Regression (3:25)
2. Odessa (4:14)
3. Somnarium (4:15)
4. Earth Departure (5:10)
5. Isolated Incidents (3:47)
6. Do Not Go Gently (3:41)
7. New Eden (2:40)
8. Cylindrical Sea (4:32)
9. Espera (2:13)
10. To Lead You to an Overwhelming Question (4:50)
11. Weightless (5:16)
12. David (2:27)

Total Time 46:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Tosin Abasi / 8-string guitar, bass
- Javier Reyes / 8-string guitar, mixing
- Navene Koperweis / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Jay Wynne

CD Prosthetic Records (2011, US)

LP Prosthetic Records (2011, US)
LP Prosthetic Records ‎- PROS102881 (2017, US) Remastered

Digital album

Thanks to Lynx33 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ANIMALS AS LEADERS Weightless ratings distribution

(220 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ANIMALS AS LEADERS Weightless reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Negoba
4 stars Worthy Successor to the Throne of Djent++

"Progressive" Metal has always been a strange term as many of the genre's biggest names make no bones about looking backwards for inspiration. Dream Theater kept 80's style metal alive even in a slightly altered form. Opeth combined melodic death metal with 70's prog. When Animals as Leaders hit the scene in 2009 with their self titled debut, many in the metal community including myself felt that finally we were getting something truly new. While AaL's sound clearly owes nods to Meshuggah and shred demons from a generation before, no one has made music like this before. With the release of sophomore effort WEIGHTLESS, bandleader Tosin Obasi and his crew prove that they weren't finished pushing the envelopre.

For those unfamiliar, Animals as Leaders is instrumental metal at its most technical. The group is a trio comprised of two 8-string guitarists and a drummer / programmer. The rhythm parts are comprised of downtuned, highly syncopated odd time grinds, jazzy arpeggiations, and plenty of the signature "djent" sound. If Cynic and Meshuggah had a baby who went to Juilliard, the music would sound like Animals as Leaders.

WEIGHTLESS shows the band playing to their core audience and making an even more demanding album than the debut. The album is heavier, more complex, and contains more electronica. Where I felt comfortable recommending the debut to non-musicians for its strange intense beauty, WEIGHTLESS is an album for music nerds. The whole band explores their personal muses more deeply, and for a guitar / prog / metal fool such as myself, the result is pure genius. There are moments of beauty here, still. But this clearly is not an album for everyone.

For those who already know the debut, WEIGHTLESS explores much more territory. There are more melodic passages, more dissonance, nastier riffs, and the programming is much more integrated into the overall sound rather than an occasional embellishment. Tosin (and the whole band) clearly haven't lost an ounce of technique, and if anything show off a little more. This isn't bad considering the apparent purpose of the album, which is to give fans what they want.

The narrowed niche keeps this from masterpiece status for me, but this is a very very strong album which I highly recommend to all fans of jazz metal, djent, tech metal, odd time signatures, guitar virtuoso playing, and anyone looking for what's truly fresh in music.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Is Djent really a subgenre or just a style of playing? Well, if Animals as Leaders' Weightless is anything to go by, one thing's for sure: it certainly isn't much like the bulk of Dream Theater- inspired progressive metal bands. Djent groups can be derided in some quarters for getting overly fancy with their technical playing, but I don't really hear that here - whilst there's no doubt that this is an album with a highly technical focus, the band never resort to aimless noodling, instead creating a wonderfully atmospheric piece which proves that you can combine technical excellence with emotional resonance. If Djent is really nothing more than a particular flavour of prog metal, then finally this is prog metal I can really get excited about.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I have listened to this album countless times and It gets better with every listen. The first time I listened to this album I expected It to sound exactly like MESHUGGAH but without the vocals. The truth is it sounds way different from MESHUGGAH. The guitar work performed by Tosin Abasi and Javier R ... (read more)

Report this review (#2151501) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Sunday, March 3, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Weightless was an album that took most listeners by surprise. It wasn't like the debut album, which only took us one listen to start annoying the hell out of all our friends to check out immediately. Abasi, in my eyes, proved his true musicianship by cranking this masterpiece out two years later. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1078420) | Posted by Eyefire | Monday, November 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Is it really possible? Can Tosin Abasi really follow up one of the most talked about guitar albums of 2009? Well let me tell you something. He keeps going from strenght to strenght. That is of course not to deny bandmates Navene Koperweis and Javier Reyes any credits. Now finally enjoying the be ... (read more)

Report this review (#959105) | Posted by Knapitatet | Tuesday, May 14, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Animals as Leaders is one of those bands that completely took me by surprise. I've heard a lot of extraordinary music, and plenty of mediocre music, but no matter who told me these guys were amazing, I wouldn't have been prepared for what was to come. They are completely unique - I'd describe thei ... (read more)

Report this review (#594991) | Posted by dtguitarfan | Friday, December 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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