"Weightless" is the sophomore full-length (compliments of Prosthetic Records) from most impressive instrumental act Animals as Leaders. It's funny, because I was listening to a lot of Cacophony a few weeks ago and started thinking, "Man, there's not a lot of super flashy, technical shredding stuff around these days that's focused more on the melodic side of things, as opposed to the super aggressive, over-the-top death metal angle or whatever." And then I somehow stumbled upon Animals as Leaders. I'm not sure how I managed to avoid hearing the band for so long, as apparently they're actually quite popular, which sort of shocks me since I don't think of highly technical, instrumental metal as a "hot item", but... hey, they're an amazing band, so good for them. Expect over 45 minutes of completely badass riffs, intense melodies, sick solos, and excellent jazzy flourishes that are right up my alley. And since they use eight-string guitars there are quite a few moments that are just ridiculously heavy without even really trying to go for that angle. Also present are a number of surprisingly tactful atmospheric elements that utilize a lot of ethereal effects that almost create an "electronica" vibe or something. I hate to refer to it like that, but... it's weird, and I don't know what the hell you'd call it, really. As with all bands of this nature there's of course some degree of... I don't want to say "showing off", but... I guess you'd just say complexity for the sake of complexity. But damn, when you're capable of musicianship like this, you've gotta just shred faces off here and there, right? Overall the songs do achieve much more feeling and force over flash, so... I was sold right off the bat. This shit actually makes me want to start playing guitar again, it's just awesome. It bums me out that they weren't on my radar back in 2009 when their first album dropped, so if you're still unfamiliar with their work, absolutely give 'em a shot. I've been quite surprised and impressed...
Animals as Leaders "Weightless"
Animals as Leaders "Odessa"
Animals as Leaders "Isolated Incidents"
Glad to see a post about AAL on this website! Make sure you check out their self-titled debut album, too.
11.29.2011 | By Vince Neilstein
I bought their first album on eMusic right after I heard “Weightless”. It, too, is awesome, of course.
11.29.2011 | By Andrew Aversionline
Friend who is not so “much” in “metal/hardcore” music shown me their song Cafo on Youtube and I was quite impressed by their technical performance. I can be quite picky concerning the technical bands since some of the bands put to much details into one song and the end result is just something complex without the “heart”.
For example Focus from Cynic is awesome album but the clean vocals aren’t my choice whereas Capharnaum (I think that album is Fractured) is also amazing but vocals could be a little better. Still overall both albums are masterpieces.
To finish talking: AaL is one of very few bands which can hold my attention without vocals. There were several amazing albums without vocals but my brains are always try to figure out how the music would sound with vocal… I need to buy this…
11.30.2011 | By Carlos