Animals As Leaders - Animals As Leaders
Record Label: Prosthetic Records
Release Date: April 28, 2009
Animals As Leaders is art for the ears. However all of this piece of work is coming from practically by one man, by the name of Tosin Abasi (ex-Reflux guitarist) in an effort to keep his seat alive after the dispersing of Reflux into other projects (as requested by Prosthetic Records). Tosin initially refused but ended up graciously accepting after attending The Atlanta Institute of Music, where he studied fundamental harmony, jazz playing standards, and classical guitar. This is exactly the portrayal of style that you hear on the self titled debut, that is Animals As Leaders.
Under the wing of producer, and guitarist, Misha Mansoor (Periphery, Bulb), Tosin produced works that incorporated djent, jazz, classical, and over-all clean/dreamy sounds. Backed up by drummer, Navene Koperweis (ex-Animosity, Sleep Terror, also in Fleshwrought) and rhythm guitarist, Javier Reyes. Together, the three different races of men produce a foot to the face in the music industry.
Let's start by explaining the song called "CAFO". The song opens with mind-blowing fast sweeps given by Tosin, as well as an effects loop that will keep that track playing, followed by an off-beat and confusing djent breakdown (in a different time signature). This fully instrumental song needs no vocals. Tosin then proceeds to play a solo that leaves people asking for just a little bit more. Abasi is stellar throughout the disc and never fails to impress with his fantastic technical prowess, but being skilled at an instrument can only get you so far. Tosin just keeps his deliverance coming throughout with two-handed sweeping techniques and solo work.
The amazing part about this is that it is played on an 8 string guitar (as well as the rest of the album), so the fluency in Tosin's work make the playing even more ridiculous. Once any solo is over, normally Tosin incorporates a clean finger-picking riff. This always tends to throw his audience off, and put them in awe with a soothing jazz sound, because he tends to play some sort of sweeping pattern with clean chord progressions (with only his fingers), as well as bass lines on his eighth string (tuned to E, one octave below standard).
I do not have much else to say about Animals As Leaders. It is just something that the audience will have to hear. I will admit that I have never heard a more interesting, and mind-boggling album. I only need to break down one song for this album for you to know that it's just about jazz, and showing off in the most artistic way possible. It's all about solos, and some breakdowns. It's all about many clean riffs, where you would think, "that has to be the other guitarist playing with him." That's where you're wrong. Tosin Abasi will not leave you disappointed with his guitar and his music.
..Not to mention the entire thing is instrumental, which subtracts the worries of auto-tuning, and generic voices. Do buy.
haha, wow. that was great. "Leaves most experts baffled"...did you really poll a bunch of "experts" and the majority of them agreed that they were baffled? What a terrible sentence and review. Do like the band, though.