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Animals As Leaders - Animals as Leaders CD (album) cover


Animals As Leaders


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.02 | 300 ratings

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5 stars This album seems to be from another planet! As if listening to an album in reverse. Their first and self-titled album is a technical virtuosity maze ranking as high as as could be (Joe Satriani) with layer upon layer of mathematical sounds at different tempos and highly variant pitches. Tosin Abasi leads like troop commander coming hard above the rise of a hill into battle as he rips into an abstract form of prog. The front man absolutely demands your attention to which you obey as you get your ears wrapped around their delivery of fine instrumentation.

The sounds of Animals As Leaders are heavily and uniquely structured (Liquid Tension Experiment) which would clearly define this album as prog to any uninformed initiate to the genre. At times the structures collide in true prog form, but seems to be the nature of the album and a testament to the band's flavour in general. These collisions have their own agendas but do come together in a seemingly 'second-phase' or even a 'third-phase' of collaboration to drive the tracks like seen few and far in between other bands. Though technicality vibrant, at the same time the music is absolutely transparent enough that you could pick any instrument or sound structure and strip it away clearly enough so as to analyse and appreciate it (or not).

Being a predominantly instrumental layout means they can exploit their voiceless speech (instruments) hard, allowing the layered music to do the talking. Vocals would only deter the delivery of mastery at hand here. ( Joe Satriani is not known for his vocals either ). The sound of Animals As Leaders comes across in many formats from the drive of thrash metal, metalcore (Reflux being Abasi's prior band), some small structures with blues riff, right down to a folk-like traditional sound, even at times incorporating strong 'Trance electronic' programming that brings the group into a futuristic and very modern position. Regular sounds of euphoria and electronica fill the gaps of mathematical layering to cement this together as a truly unique band.

The virtuosity of Abasi leads the band with a jazz ferocity reminding us of their potential in any given prog genre. Dependant on taste and audio equipment layout, the bass is well delivered to bring into balance the higher end pitch of Abasi's play. Double-Bass drumming delivers drive to push the collaboration like a steam train in full momentum. It certainly picks you up wanting more as the next corner is an uncertainty.

( I attempt at delivering reviews objectively at least, but I will say here that this album is one for me that epitomises the sound of a technical and a typical prog format, making it almost a bench mark. I classify Tosin Abasi in the ranks as marksman-axeman at least. If technical virtuosity is your flavour, Animals As Leaders will not disappoint. )

Approgximation | 5/5 |


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