I first saw Animals As Leaders
at the Summer Slaughter
Tour and was amazed at the guitar player's discipline, creativity, and skill. He impressed me on almost every level and beyond. They were one of the least popular bands on the tour, but managed to wow everyone there. They are still relatively new, and have only come out with one self-titled release so far.
The main thing that makes this album so amazing is the incredibly talented guitarist, Tosin Abasi. Tosin plays an 8 string as his main instrument, and is the front-man of the band. Their isn't any lyrics or vocals in this album. It's all instrumental, and that's part of what makes this album so beautiful. Tosin is both fast and creative in his riffs and chords, and uses jazz and harmonic influences to enhance his technique. Songs like On Impulse
heavily demonstrate his jazz method and have many complicated beat patterns and melodies throughout, whereas tracks like CAFO show of his technical abilities. Each song is extremely unique, never showing a hint of repetitiveness and constantly changing style. I also quite enjoy the digital effects mixed in here and there. In unprofessional terms, they sound hella cool, and mix with Tosin's guitar surprisingly well. One thing I noticed while they played live, and on the record, is also how good the drummer is. Apparently, the drummer is the old drummer from "The Faceless
", which would explain why he is so talented.
All in all, the beautiful jazz harmonies mixed into a swirl of metal, rock, and techno, and of course, Tosin's incredible guitar abilities, make this album an absolute MUST BUY for any fans of metal, jazz, or anything other progressive types of music. On a side note, I personally believe Abasi to be one of the greatest modern guitarists alive.