Tosin Abasi’s Animals As Leaders are back. Scheduled to be released on November 8, the 12 new tracks of “Weightless” picking up where they left off with their 2009 self-titled debut album.
Cutting edge riffs and fleet-fingered solos, the energy full explosion of metalcore and matchcore with the spacy pulse and smoothness of classic progressive rock and metal acts merging different approaches and sounds from Rush to Dream Theater, but adding to it a fresh and powerful breath, Animals As Leaders became soon one of the most critically acclaimed metal act.
I’m still not an unconditional supporter of instrumental rock/metal albums (and bands), but I have to admit, Animals As Leaders have some interesting moments, managed to avoid cliches and patterns, delivering good songs and not exclusively technically brilliant self-exposures. Scaling form metalcore to jazz, “Weightless” is a power and colorful release.
7-string guitarist Tosin Abasi caught the attention of Prosthetic Records while he was the guitarist of the technical metalcore band, Reflux, but then he declined their offert to release a solo album, considering such an endeavor would be “egotistical and unnecessary”. When Reflux disbanded, Abasi decided to take the label’s offer, but instead a solo album he formed Animals As Leaders including guitarist Javier Reyes and drummer Navene Koperweis.
The name of the band was inspired by Daniel Quinn’s 1992 novel Ishmael, which addresses anthropocentrism. Anthropocentrism describes the tendency for human beings to regard themselves as the central and most significant entities in the universe, or the assessment of reality through an exclusively human perspective. The term can be used interchangeably with humanocentrism, while the first concept can also be referred to as human supremacy. The views are especially associated with certain religious cultures. Anthropocentrism is a major concept in the field of environmental ethics and environmental philosophy, where it is often considered to be the root cause of problems created by human interaction with the environment. Abasi coined the name as a reminder “that we’re all essentially animals”.
The project’s first album, Animals as Leaders, was recorded in early 2008. Abasi recorded most guitar and bass tracks on the album; a few guitar solos, drums and various synthesized effects were programmed by engineer Misha Mansoor of Periphery and Haunted Shores.
In 2010 the band has done extensive touring including the 2010 Summer Slaughter tour with such acts as Decapitated, Vital Remains, Carnifex, The Faceless, All Shall Perish, The Red Chord, Cephalic Carnage, Veil of Maya and Decrepit Birth and since Summer Slaughter have toured with more mainstream acts like Circa Survive and Dredg.
They also toured with Circa Survive, Dredg, and Codeseven from mid 2010 to early 2011, and in early 2011, they toured alongside Underoath, Thursday, and A Skylit Drive.
Headlined their first tour in 2011, which included opening acts Intronaut, Dead Letter Circus, Last Chance to Reason, and Evan Brewer. Animals As Leaders has been billed as the first support of Between the Buried and Me on their European tour in September 2011, also with the french band Doyle.
01. An Infinite Regression
04. Earth Departure
05. Isolated Incidents
06. Do Not Go Gently
07. New Eden
08. Cylindrical Sea
10. To Lead You To An Overwhelming Question