Animals as Leaders (album)

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Animals as Leaders
Animals as Leaders - Animals as Leaders (2009).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 28, 2009 (2009-04-28)
GenreProgressive metal, djent, instrumental rock
ProducerMisha Mansoor
Animals as Leaders chronology
Animals as Leaders

Animals as Leaders is the debut studio album by progressive metal group Animals as Leaders. It was released on April 28, 2009 by Prosthetic Records. In 2015, a reissue titled Animals as Leaders – Encore Edition was released with bonus tracks.


Before Animals as Leaders Tosin Abasi was a member of metalcore band Reflux that had been disbanded.[1] Reflux's former record label Prosthetic Records saw Abasi's guitar work and asked him to create a solo album for them. Abasi initially declined, feeling such an endeavor would be "egotistical and unnecessary".[2] Afterwards, Abasi enrolled in the Atlanta Institute of Music which helped give him new creative ideas for music composition.[1] Abasi later changed his mind saying that "doing a solo album seemed to make a lot more sense", and decided to take the label's offer.[1] However, he did not want the project's new album to just represent the idea of one person.[3] Abasi's school experience aided him in developing ideas for the album. While at school he learned fundamental harmony, jazz playing standards, and improved on playing classical guitar.[4]

Composition, recording and production[edit]

Animals as Leaders was recorded in early 2008. Abasi recorded all guitar and bass tracks on the album; drums and various synthesized effects were programmed by engineer Misha Mansoor (Periphery, Haunted Shores).[2]

Abasi and Mansoor are credited for composing the music for all tracks on Animals as Leaders.[3] All twelve tracks on the album are guitar driven instrumentals that are intended to showcase Abasi's guitar skills.[3] Abasi uses techniques such as tremolo picking, sweep-picking, two-handed tapping, fingerpicking, and slapping throughout the album.[3]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3.5/5 stars[5]
Rock Sound9.5/10 stars[6]

The album was released on April 28, 2009 by Prosthetic Records,[7] and was met with positive reviews. It was also called "the 12th best album of 2009" by[8]

Ken McGrath of Rock Sound described the album as "a space-prog head-trip" and compared its sound to Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, 65daysofstatic, and Meshuggah.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Tosin Abasi.

1."Tempting Time"5:23
3."Thoroughly at Home"4:02
4."On Impulse"6:09
6."Behaving Badly"4:26
7."The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing"5:32
10."Point to Point"1:44
11."Modern Meat"2:06
12."Song of Solomon"4:16
Total length:52:00
Encore Edition bonus tracks[9]
13."Wave of Babies"5:29
15."Orea" (Demo)1:57


  • Tosin Abasi – eight-string guitar, bass guitar, production
  • Misha Mansoor – production, engineering, drum programming, mixing, mastering
  • Vinny Vinh - drums (bonus track “Kalimba”)
  • Jay Wynne – artwork, design


  1. ^ a b c Politte, Elliott. "Tosin Abasi: 8-String Animal". Guitar Edge.
  2. ^ a b Allyn, Bobby (February 9, 2009). "Q&A: Animals as Leaders." Washington City Paper. Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d Ali, Reyan. "Animals As Leaders Riff Out: There's more to Tosin Abasi's instrumental prog-metal outfit than guitar heroics". OC Weekly.
  4. ^ Magnotta, Andrew. "Interview with Tosin Abasi from Animals As Leaders: Caged Beast". The Aquarian Weekly.
  5. ^ Animals as Leaders at AllMusic
  6. ^ a b McGrath, Ken (June 2009). "Animals as Leaders – Animals as Leaders" (Review). Rock Sound (123).
  7. ^ "Animals as Leaders Unveils Artwork, Track Listing for Debut Album Archived October 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine" (March 20, 2009). Retrieved June 5, 2009.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Animals as Leaders – Encore Edition at Discogs. Retrieved 05/08/2015.