Thursday, 27 February 2014

CD Review: Animals As Leaders, by Animals As Leaders (2009)

Occupying the unnecessary mini-niche of progressive instrumental jazz metal, the self-titled debut by Animals As Leaders is essentially a solo album for guitarist Tosin Abasi.

The album is a slightly more metallic version of the kind of ambient instrumental music made popular by the likes of synthesizer maestro Jean Michael Jarre in the 1970s. Often filled with sounds intended to evoke either space or the ocean, and built on endless repetition but a fundamental lack of purposeful direction, Animals As Leaders fades into the background, about as engaging as bland wallpaper but slightly more annoying for its busy obtrusiveness.

It's difficult to tell one track from another, since they all sound pretty much the same, overlong, filled with noodling for its own sake and micro melodies challenged by a singular inability to hold a theme for longer than a few seconds, often mistaking reiteration for a trajectory.

Trapped in the gap between innovative and inconsequential, Animals As Leaders is just insipid.


Tosin Abasi - guitars, bass guitar
Misha Mansoor - keyboards, drum programming

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Tempting Time - 7
2. Soraya - 7
3. Thoroughly At Home - 7
4. On Impulse - 7
5. Tessiture - n/a (short)
6. Behaving Badly - 7
7. The Price Of Everything And The Value Of Nothing - 7
8. Cafo - 6
9. Inamorata - 6
10. Point To Point - n/a (short)
11. Modern Meat - 5
12. Song Of Solomon - 7

Average: 6.60

Produced by Tosin Abasi and Misha Mansoor.
Engineered by Misha Mansoor.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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