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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anchoring themselves down as one of Metals Best New Bands
Customer Video Review     Length:: 4:23 Mins
Like the previous release I have nothing bad to say about this album. This is truly a five star gem that has no flaws. From the sheer rawness of the chugging guitars to the intense and complex leads Abasi proves he and his band have no interest in straying away from the technical death style heard on the previous release even in light of their...
Published on November 19, 2011 by C. M. Gillum

versus
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is there phenomenal music here? Yes, but......
What to do with this review?

Is the music on this disc phenomenal? Yes. Is it ridiculously technical? Yes. Are these artists ultra-talented? Yes. Might you be astounded as you listen? Yes. Can you enjoy these songs? Of course, if for no other reason the music is complex and the talent is evident.

But the songs, standing on their own...
Published 18 months ago by THowerton


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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anchoring themselves down as one of Metals Best New Bands, November 19, 2011
This review is from: Weightless (Audio CD)
Length:: 4:23 Mins

Like the previous release I have nothing bad to say about this album. This is truly a five star gem that has no flaws. From the sheer rawness of the chugging guitars to the intense and complex leads Abasi proves he and his band have no interest in straying away from the technical death style heard on the previous release even in light of their recent success and popularity. The one thing that has changed is the electronic/synth work is of a much higher value then on the self titled album Animals As Leaders, thankfully it is again used sparingly just to add dimension to the tracks rather then over power them. The technical leads again take the front stage and are the driving force of this group as if to say the leads take on the role of the lead vocalist. All in all Weightless is an amazing album by a band that deserves every second of fame they acquire, a must own for all Metal fans and in particular Technical/Complex Metal fans will fall in love. I included the full length track 'Isolated Incidents' with my review, please give it a look and listen. Support a supporter of Metal and click yes below and please check out my other reviews.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am loving this!, November 8, 2011
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This review is from: Weightless (MP3 Music)
This album put a huge smile on my face the instant I hit play. It's so weird, heavy and beautiful. That eight string...my god man, that eight string. Tosin's combinations of crazy poly-rhythms, spacy-sounding progressions and face-melting power riffs just really hits the spot for me. (Thank you Tosin!) I've been looking forward to this since his first album, and it does not dissapoint. I actually feel smarter after having listened to this.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Djazz!, November 9, 2011
This review is from: Weightless (Audio CD)
"Djazz?" I can hear the readers of this review asking.

Yes, Djazz. It is really the only way I can categorise (not that one needs to categorise music) the music of Animals as Leaders. They definitely form part of the 8-string madness and musicianship that has been given the name "Djent" in the last couple of years. But they rise above that category just purely due to how ridiculously talented they are as musicians, and how musical they are at the same time. The jazz influences are undeniable on an album that is both brutal and spacey at the same time!

A purely instrumental album, Weightless is not for everyone, but the chances are that if you have heard of the band you already form part of the collective of people that would probably love it! Weightless is a great example of just how far you can push the envelope on heavy rock music without falling off the edge and rendering it unlistenable. It boggles the mind to consider the sounds that these guys are able to get out of their instruments. Every time I listen to it I hear something new, which is one of the marks of a good instrumental album (of any album, in fact, but more importantly for an instrumental album due to the fact that the lack of lyrics can cause an album to slip into the background)

Animals as Leaders have already taken their place alongside Scale the Summit for me as forerunners in this relatively new genre of music, and this album only solidifies that position. I hope that reading this review inspires you to take a listen to the album, because if you enjoyed their last album, or if you have enjoyed bands like Scale the Summit then this album is for you! Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abasi does it again folks., November 9, 2011
This review is from: Weightless (Audio CD)
I remember seeing a post on AfL's facebook page a while back about how fans of the first album might be surprised by the sound of this next album. I took that to mean, "Ok, maybe they're going a bit more jazzy and less metal or something." It turns out I don't know what they meant because this album continues everything the first album started. This band continues to cook and the addition of a real drummer this time around doesn't make as much of an impact as you might have thought(in a good way).

This album is as spastic and as creative as their debut but I think it actually features more of a metal sound than said album. The one thing I find astounding is that their new drummer really studied up on the style that was programmed for the first album, I mean he would have to to even perform their work live. Nearly every part of his kit sounds just like the programmed version except the bass drum is a bit more full this time. His style matches up with what worked so great in the first album. He doesn't really do too much to change the sound of the band, which I think is the most important aspect. To be honest, it's hard at times for me to remember that this is a real person this time around because he nails it down so well. There are a lot more polyrythmic Meshuggah-style signatures this time though, which is where I get the feeling of a bit more metal sound from. I don't mean to say that he doesn't add anything at all though. There are the odd blasts here, jazzy flams there, and whatnot that show his style. All in all though he plays rank and file with the style set forth by Abasi and Periphery's drummer(he programmed the drums the first time around).

Musically this album is no different than their first album really, other than what I feel is a heavier sound overall. Many songs start of with a bit of strange noodling on the guitar by Abasi backed up by some electronics using a sound that makes me think of 80's era videogame tunes. It creates one of the coolest sounds I've heard in music. Abasi's solo work is again present throughout the album and takes the forefront most of the time. There is a bit more shredding style at times in this one, but enough clean guitar segments featuring the free-form jazz style to change up the pace. I'd say there are less clean guitar sections overall, but not so little that it seems like an odd addition to the heavier parts. They're generally used as a bridge or something, not the meat of the song. It goes without saying this is still the type of album you'll listen to 100 times before you memorize every note as well. It's dense. But the first album, I think, is clearly a production of mostly one guy; Abasi. This album *feels* like the other two members who weren't present before definitely contributed something. The bass sound is still very thick and everpresent. The rythm guitar and bass stuff going on in the background feels like it's less *in* the background this time, whether due to production or songcraft.

I don't see them losing any fans over this album. In fact, I had this kind of weird reaction after my first listen like "Been there, done that." The thing with this band is that I didn't want different though. This is exactly what I wanted, more of the same off-the-wall time signatures, riffs that swim around in a sea of sound that both confuses and enthralls you, and world-class musicianship that is better than nearly 99% of the world's musical talent pool. "Weightless" is anything but. It is a massive, full album that deserves revisiting on a daily basis. Anyone who loves progressive(instrumental) metal with a lot of jazz influence will salivate over this offering as much as they did the first one. Well done guys \m/
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive album, November 16, 2011
This review is from: Weightless (Audio CD)
I wouldn't consider myself an expert on music, but I can say that this album was enjoyable to listen to. Overall, though, I felt like it didn't stack up in comparison to their previous self-titled album. The artwork almost makes up for it though. If you collect vinyls, I would suggest buying this one to display somewhere.

All in all, the album feels less like metal than the last, but is still a good listen for the fans of progressive instrumental metal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa!, December 29, 2011
This review is from: Weightless (Audio CD)
I hadn't a clue what Animals As Leaders were about when I picked up this album, I just bought it because Amazon recommended it and I wanted to take a stab in the dark at finding some new stuff. So, I started listening to "Weightless" and I knew right away that this was something that was going to break into my Top 10 Favorite Albums list. When I listen to this album I hear (as I've mentioned in someone else's review) a sort of jazz/prog/metal fusion that I have also heard in the music of Meshuggah, though these guys have a uniquely different sound than Meshuggah. Let it be known that I'm a halfway decent musician and I'm sure I couldn't keep up with the rhythyms I hear in this album. This is the kind of music that you have to dedicate yourself to, don't listen to it as background music, it will grab your attention and hold it until the album ends. I don't recall ever hearing guitar work like this. As in jazz, try to listen to the notes that aren't being played as well as the ones that are, like reading between the lines for music.

I'll definitely be buying their first, self-titled album shortly.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT musicianship, November 8, 2011
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This review is from: Weightless (Audio CD)
I don't particularly like it when people refer to this band as "intelligent metal". That seems to imply there's a such thing as "stupid metal". I've been a metal fan for over 30 years and I don't think I'm stupid. On to the review. This band isn't for everyone. You won't find any vocals here. What you will find is BRILLIANT musicianship. Some of the best I've heard in my life. From the song structures to the jazzy drum patterns and intricate bass lines to the downright mind-blowing guitar work. But, as I said, it's not for everyone. You really have to have a true appreciation for the talent. If you're expecting the ordinary, run-of-the-mill, overdone, cookie monster vocal metalcore that all bands seem to be doing nowadays then you should really stay away. But if you have an open mind and an affinity for true musicians and their craft, I highly recommend this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more like ... Priceless!, November 15, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Weightless (Audio CD)
WOW! I am a HUGE fan of the band and coming across their debut back in 09 was truly a blessing! I am once again speechless with what AAL have created and delivered this time. Weightless is truly amazing. This is truly a band that knows what to do with their instruments and know how to deliver their SOUND! Something that 90% of today's musicians out there cant figure out.

The album itself has a very nice rich, tight, bold production. I love it when you can HEAR and make out every instrument on an album, nothing on here sounds 'Muted' whatsoever! Killer sound and the musicianship is sky high on here! I would recommend this for fans of Progressive, but this is one of those albums and bands that dont play music for certain crowds. Honestly, if your into good music you will definitely love this album and grow to love Animals as Leaders!

Weightless 5/5 this is one of my personal top picks for 2011 and i cannot wait to see what they come up with next! Huge respect goes out to these guys for putting out something as colossal as 'Weightless'. With this much potential AAL are going to become something greater then what they think they are.

P.S. ... yeah also checkout their debut.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Release, December 28, 2011
By 
Shared Gum (alexandria, va United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Weightless (Audio CD)
This release will not disappoint the fans of this band. The musicianship is fantastic, and as others have mentioned, there are some jazz influences thrown in there for good measure. The time-signature changes are there as well, and they keep the listener guessing what is coming next. There are also similarities with the first album, so those who liked their first release will likely enjoy this one as well.

Although the music itself is quite different, I just fear that this outfit may become the Dream Theater of this generation. They are obviously really technically talented musicians but I sometimes feel as if the computers are playing the music instead of people with feelings. I do like instrumental metal a lot, and Russian Circles and Red Sparowes are couple of my favorite bands. In my opinion, I think that this talented band needs to take it down a notch as far as the musicianship and work little more on the vibe and atmosphere on their next album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff., March 12, 2012
This review is from: Weightless (Audio CD)
Great album, great musicians. If you are into metal, but aren't big on the vocals, check these guys out, very talented bunch.
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Weightless
Weightless by Animals as Leaders (Audio CD - 2011)
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