Animals As Leaders
Weightless


3.0
good

Review

by ANJ45 USER (10 Reviews)
December 19th, 2011 | 33 replies | 4,352 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Some of the great melodies that made the first one a classic are still present here, but altogether, Animals As Leaders' new album just isn't quite up to par with their self-titled debut.

3 of 4 thought this review was well written

I fell in love with Animals As Leaders when I saw them perform live during the summer slaughter tour of 2010 (of all the places to find a progressive instrumental metal group), mostly due to the guitarist, Tosin Abasi. His playing was phenomenal live and the drummer was absolutely crazy. The band made some of the coolest melodies I'd ever heard, using major jazz influences mixed with just an experimental array of styles. It was a huge surprise, seeing as how early they started on the lineup. I was expecting an average death metal group, not a full fledged tech/progressive band.

This album, while still pretty good, does not give me that sort of feeling however. While the first record had the perfect mix of melodious jazz chords, djenty poly-rhythms, and echoing digital effects to add slight percussion, this album seems like it focuses way more on the digital beats, and less on Tosin Abasi's brilliant guitar patterns that we all listen to this band for. It seems like they decided to take the elements of what is more mainstream as far as prog metal goes, and leaves out a lot of what made Animals As Leaders such a unique group in the first place. The guitar work is there, but it doesn't seem like that's as much the focus here, and strays into different paths now and then. In other words, it deviates from the original, which certainly isn't always a bad thing. The real issue here is lack of creativity.

This album definitely has it's bright points, in tracks such as Somnarium and Earth Departure, where the guitar and melody seem like the main focus again, for the most part. I also don't have anything against metal with djent influences in it, and I think that groups like Periphery and Textures do it perfectly. It's just not done as well here, and the mixing and production are pretty uneven.

People are having very mixed feelings about this album, and I can certainly see why. It is neither as creative nor as harmonious as the self titled debut. Tosin Abasi still gives a good effort, but the mixing and occasional overuse of heaviness is what off-puts it for me. Decent record, but compared to their other one, a big disappointment.



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user ratings (805)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Zettel (3.5)
A great follow-up? You bet....

Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (2.5)
Tosin Abasi puts forth an average effort and the rest of the new trio can't pick up the slack....


Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
December 20th 2011



12568 Comments


Good review, decent album.

FearThyEvil9
December 20th 2011



11411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pos'd and I agree the album was nowhere near as good as their self-titled.

ILJ
December 20th 2011



6550 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album was definitely a disappointment.

Although these songs still sounded badass live as I watched Tosin in amazement.

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There

MO
December 20th 2011



17409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album rules. I found quite a bit of this album had more emotion than some of the tunes in the self-titled, glad Misha didn't produce this.

FadedSun
December 20th 2011



1152 Comments


I only listened to this once and wrote it off because it didn't immediately grab hold of me. Think I should go back and give it some more listens.

MO
December 20th 2011



17409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I found it just as engaging as the first album, some songs even more so. It does take a while to digest but I guess everyone wanted this super revolutionary album or something.

Cipieron
December 20th 2011



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, this album is just great. everyone just had super high expectation for it, and when it turned out to not be AS great as the first album... well you know the rest

FearThyEvil9
December 20th 2011



11411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album focuses too much on electronics rather than the instruments.

MO
December 20th 2011



17409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

They used more electronics yea...but this album definitely doesn't focus overly on them.

FearThyEvil9
December 20th 2011



11411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think it does. Regardless, it's not a bad record. It's just nowhere near as good as the last album. Imo

FearThyEvil9
December 20th 2011



11411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Although, they played the tracks from this incredibly well live. Pretty kickass live.

Ending
December 20th 2011



1863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I understand why people wouldn't like this, but I feel like the expectations were just too high to
truly provide a satisfying follow-up. If this were released as their debut, do you think you'd rate it
higher / lower? I'm not asking anybody specifically, just a general question.

Anyways review was pretty good.

MO
December 20th 2011



17409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"but I feel like the expectations were just too high"

Pretty much. I mean their debut was truely revolutionary yea, but just what did people expect them to do? Release basically a debut version 2.0? That probably would've received something along the lines of "oh they just rehashed their first album, nothing new here, jeez how unoriginal". I mean sure the debut is better than this sure, but with this kind of music the possibilities are endless and I feel like this is a band where every album can be really enjoyable cause there's not much else that sounds like it.

Relinquished
December 20th 2011



22442 Comments


"just what did people expect them to do? Release basically a debut version 2.0? That probably would've received something along the lines of "oh they just rehashed their first album, nothing new here, jeez how unoriginal"."

personally I would've have welcomed it.

MO
December 20th 2011



17409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I just find they can experiment so well with their sound and heck this one REALLY doesnt stray that far from the debut.

Relinquished
December 20th 2011



22442 Comments


agreed

Ending
December 20th 2011



1863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The problem with releasing a strong debut is that if you stray too far from it (which I also agree this does not do) then it's criticized for being unfaithful to its predecessor, but if a band tries to replicate their success then they get bashed for being unoriginal.

This really could've turned out much worse. I personally enjoy it almost as much as their self-titled.

Ending
December 20th 2011



1863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's certainly one way to say it.

ANJ45
December 20th 2011



179 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I still like it, just some what of a disappointment to me.

Digging: An Autumn For Crippled Children - Try Not To Destroy Everything You Love

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2011



1918 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Album is just genuinely boring to me, whereas the debut was exciting.



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