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iTunes Review

Backstory: Tosin Abasi was the virtuosic guitarist for Washington, D.C.-based metalcore band Reflux. His skills on the eight-string guitar were so impressive that following the band’s breakup, its label asked Abasi to record a solo album. He declined. Fast-forward to 2011, and Animals as Leaders is Abasi and Javier Reyes (both on eight-string guitar), as well as drummer Navene Koperweis from Animosity and Fleshwrought. Since the instrumental progressive metal trio is configured almost exactly like The F*cking Champs, it’s not surprising that “An Infinite Regression” opens sounding a bit like that group's 2007 album VI until Koperweis makes bass runs on his low strings while Abasi taps out rhythmic harmonics high on the fretboard. “Odessa” simultaneously blends dual fret-tapping with studied shredding under a foundation of meaty riffs. Unlike on the group's 2009 eponymous debut, the drumming here is very real—even on “Earth Departure,” where Koperweis’ airtight time signatures and metronomic flawlessness sometimes sound mechanical. “Weightless” closes with Abasi and Reyes playing like they were born with three extra fingers on their left hands.

Customer Reviews

All hail Tosin Abasi

Polyrythems, arpeggios and odd-to-odd meters galore! This is a must have for anyone bored with all the crap being force-fed to the masses these days. Tosin is simply a master at his craft.

Way out in front...

The next step has boldly been taken in the world of heavy guitar based music.
Its going to take some time to catch up to where these cats are, who knows where they'll be by then.
Tosin is Nuts.

More cowbell

AAL's self-titled debut was a masterpiece. It would be understandable if this wasn't quite as good. It's not ... it's even better.

More cohesive, more fluid, more emotive, more polyrhythmic and yes ... more skillful. I remember Tool's Lateralus being so complex and massive, it took several joyful listens to fully wrap my head around. This one will take just as long, maybe even longer. And I will love every minute of it.


Formed: 2008 in Washington, D.C.

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

After playing for a few years in the "straight" music world as a member of the uniquely virtuosic Washington, D.C.-based metalcore band Reflux, seven- and eight-string guitar wizard Tosin Abasi was asked to record a solo album by the group's then-record label, Prosthetic Records, once the group disbanded. At first, Abasi declined on the grounds that to do so would be "egotistical," but he eventually relented and founded a new entity named Animals as Leaders (inspired by Daniel Quinn's 1992 anthropocentric...
Full Bio
Weightless, Animals As Leaders
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Nov 08, 2011

Customer Ratings