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Animals as Leaders

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Average Rating
(12 Reviews)

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  • I’m going to start off this review by saying this is a profound advancement in technical and progressive metal. This album is a true reflection of an incredible amount of skill that does not overbear a wonderful sense of musical taste. Overall the album is hardly repetitive, constantly shifting in mood and intensity from heavy, rhythmically interesting riffs to subtle melodies and pleasing phrases, giving this album an incredible depth and texture most new musical projects fail to deliver.

    The first track, Tempting Time, seems to be a logical place to start. This song is truly staggering in every way imaginable. Beginning the song with careful use of synthesizer and sampling effects lays the foreground for a monster jackhammer riff courtesy of Tosin Abasi. The technical skill in this song is unbelievable, with such sonic intensity created and the surprising thing to note is none of this is repetitive or tiring to listen to. Midway, the song shifts to a cleanly executed 7 finger tapping line, one of my favourites in the whole album; a clear indication of the phenomenal writing and technical ability of Tosin.

    The contrast of this album is a feature I find to prominent. The wonderfully delicate and tasteful Soraya almost resembles the musical variation of Scale the Summit. The jazz fusion influence is noticable throughout the album, and adds a unique dimension to each song’s development. “Behaving Badly” and “The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing” are examples of this. Coupled with shifts in time signature numerous times hint an obvious Meshuggah influence, but this is definitely not even close to a Meshuggah clone album in any respect. Each song develops in its own unique way, offering a wide range of distinct musical tones that intrigue every part of the listener.

    Modern Meat is another example of a wonderfully orchestrated jazz influenced track played on a detuned acoustic, which provides a reefreshing break from the onslaught of intense shift in time signature and aggressive lead playing. The lack of accompaniment gives the carefully chosen guitar phrase to develop beautifully. My only grievance is it only goes on for 2 minutes!

    Overall, this album is a masterpiece. The involvement of Periphery’s Misha “Bulb” Mansoor on the album of whom I am a huge fan only makes me look forward any and all new material from the project. Do not hesitate for a second. Buy this album and you will never regret it.

    Posted on December 29, 2009