Games Meet Metal: Animals as Leaders- a solo guitarist that even a drummer can love

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Animals as Leaders- a solo guitarist that even a drummer can love

A few years ago I would have never guessed that instrumental progressive metal would ever reach a non-musician audience. Yet somehow it seems like Animals as Leaders may do just that. Tosin Abasi, formerly known best for his guitar wizardry in Reflux, manages to avoid the cheesy wankery of typical solo guitar records while remaining cutting edge, virtuosic and above all, catchy to the untrained ear.

As a drummer I must say that I’m probably a little hard on most of the solo guitar albums I’ve heard over the years. Most seem to focus on shredding leads while interesting rhythms fall by the wayside. Abasi (with the help of engineer/programmer Misha Mansoor) indulges in polyrhythms and metric illusions while never losing sight of groove. The rhythmic stylings of both Meshuggah and King Crimson come to mind, and in my book there are few more worthy influences.

That’s not to say that Abasi doesn’t shred. He works his 8-string guitar with precision and speed rarely heard. Even more uncommon is Abasi’s unique, modern tonality that separates him from the purely diatonic shred of most metal guitarists. He creates riffs and leads that are as catchy as they are technical.

Abasi has a genuine feel, purpose and emotion to his music that is lacking in most instrumental records. He manages to use interesting chops, rhythmic ideas and general virtuosity to create something that is of musical worth to people besides guitarists. Pick this up if your at all into prog!


  1. Fuck yeah! Tosin Abasi RULES. RUUUULES.

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