ANIMALS AS LEADERS

"The Joy of Motion" (Sumerian; 2014)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

This is the third disc from the progressive/jazz/metal fusion known as Animals As Leaders. The man behind the guitar is Tosin Abasi. He has incredible guitar skills and, even though he usually plays all the instruments, he now has a band to play along with him.

Once again Tosin shows off his multi-layered knowledge by combining the quirkiness and solidarity of Steve Vai, the heaviness of John Petrucci and the jazz prowess of Al Di Meola. Never predictable and always intriguing, Tosin pours himself into this release by using his technique of combining metal, jazz and some Latin flavor to create a disc of original music.

The ebb and flow of "The Joy of Motion," consists of tracks that are seamless in their design but actually have a start and stop point. The fact that Tosin can combine them into a never-ending jam session says a lot about his gift. This is a great disc to relax with. Just sit back, absorb and marvel.

The band: Tosin Abasi - lead guitars; Javier Reyes - rhythm guitars; Matt Garstka - drums, percussion.

Follow the band here https://www.facebook.com/animalsasleaders.

"Animals as Leaders" (Prosthetic; 2009)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

One-man progressive metal machine Tosin Abas is the main brain behind Animals as Leaders, a project whose eponymous 12-track excursion daringly thrusts into the far reaches of the metal spectrum, encompassing a progressive metal edge with a slew of decadent fretboard nuances with all-inclusive jazz-fusion tendencies.

Doing all the bass and guitar (both 7 and 8-string) tracks himself, Abas creates a world engulfed in lush soundscapes aimed to beguile the listener as a rich array of technical intricacies, dually derived from the foundation of both jazz and metal, pours out of the speakers.

Armed with flurries of enthralling expansiveness, this affair fosters the ambitious musical spirit of a virtuoso player a la Vai and Malmsteen whose first-rate chops never get in the way of its compositionís flow, while displaying a lack of the typecast clinical residue which results in the invigorating feeling of refreshed fluidity this release exudes.

For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/animalsasleaders.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 09 Apr 2017 12:09:59 -0400.