Prosthetic Records are a company which seem to have suddenly decided to discover two of the most original progressive bands currently gracing my ears. Firstly, they had the good sense to sign Scale The Summit after their inspired debut album, then they went and introduced me to the extremely eclectic electronic (alliteration not intended) jazz-prog outfit, Animals As Leaders.
Obscure genre definitions aside, this band is rather uncategorisable in their experimentation. Some of the album could be mistaken for a jazz-fusion release, some viewed as an elektro-metal band with a composer straight out of a mental hospital just going crazy and most, if not all for an inspired effort to glue these all together with some very unique playing, fantastic songwriting and good helping of good old “what the hell just happened” moments.
All of the music is written by Tosin Abasi, the guitarist of defunct metalcore-ish band, “Reflux”, who performs the “7 and 8 String Guitar Wizardry” as it is so modestly advertised on the myspace page for the band. His bold statement is, however not without justification. In fact, the word wizardry may not even cut it here, the man is a machine. Some of his guitarwork on the more progressive pieces are nothing short of incredible, playing passages which I cannot listen to without thinking, rather pallidly “That is so awesome!”.
All of the drums and synths are electronically programmed on this release, and very well at that seeing as I had no idea that the normal (ie non electronic) drums were not done by a real player as the sound is very organic for what they are.
Organic. That is actually a word which plays with this album very nicely. There a many synthesised beats and the like, but they are mostly all played over very free and expressional guitar leads. The clean tone which is used for much of the album contributes to this, you really get the idea that this is a man feeling out the music, not just composing.
Unfortunately, my mind is still split about this album despite all of its pros. The electronic sections are pretty damn good, yeah, but put side to side with songs like “Point To Point” and “Song Of Solomon” which are some of the most refreshing and unique pieces I’ve heard all year, they don’t have as much of an impact. It is a fantastic album, no doubt about that, but I feel that somehow Tosin has more in him than this and I believe that if he focuses any future efforts slightly more then the results will be nothing short of breath taking.
Label: Prosthetic Records
Avantgenre: Electronic Prog-Fusion Metal
Official site: http://www.myspace.com/animalsasleaders
Review online since: 12.05.2009 / 23:04:53
01 – Tempting Time
02 – Soraya
03 – Thoroughly At Home
04 – On Impulse
05 – Tessitura
06 – Behaving Badly
07 – The Price Of Everything And The Value Of Nothing
08 – CAFO
09 – Inamorta
10 – Point To Point
11 – Modern Meat
12 – Song Of Solomon