ANIMALS AS LEADERS MASTERMIND FEATURED ON GUITAR WORLD COVER; Second pressings of band’s two groundbreaking albums back in print and on sale nowWednesday, July 18th, 2012
Cementing his rapid rise to international guitar hero status, ANIMALS AS LEADERS guitarist Tosin Abasi graces the cover of the new (September 2012) issue of Guitar World magazine, alongside the legendary Steve Vai (who has previously called the band “the future of heavy, creative virtuoso guitar”). The magazine goes on sale next Tuesday, July 24.
Also, by popular demand, the group’s two acclaimed albums — the initial LP pressings of which have been sold out for months — are now available on vinyl once again. The band’s self-titled debut, a double-LP featuring a gatefold Stoughton jacket with enhanced album artwork and 3-D imagery, custom AAL 3-D glasses and the bonus track “Wave of Babies,” is available on clear, transparent gold, glow-in-the-dark and 180-gram black vinyl HERE. Meanwhile, latest album “Weightless” — housed in a custom Stoughton jacket featuring the band’s die-cut circular logo — is now available on gray marble, white and 180-gram black wax HERE. All colors can be ordered at Prosthetic’s webshop, where more information (including pressing details) can be found; the black vinyl variants will also soon be on sale once again at select retailers worldwide.
The 29-year-old Abasi first made waves as a member of the politically-minded metalcore act Reflux, who released one album on Prosthetic Records in 2004. Soon after the group disbanded, the Washington, D.C.-based guitarist began working on an instrumental solo album — eventually released in 2009 under the moniker ANIMALS AS LEADERS — that combined progressive metal with jazz, electronic and ambient flourishes.
The album’s impact on modern metal cannot be overstated, as it somehow managed to be both genre-defying and genre-defining. Over a two-year period of extensive touring, the group earned rave reviews for its performances alongside the likes of Deftones, BTBAM and The Dillinger Escape Plan, in addition to a successful U.S. headlining run last summer. That was ANIMALS AS LEADERS’ final tour before the release of sophomore album “Weightless,” which cracked the Top 100 upon its release last fall — no small feat for an album of instrumental prog released by an independent label.
While the group’s self-titled debut was a collaboration between Abasi and Periphery’s Misha Mansoor (who produced, mixed, mastered, engineered and programmed the album), “Weightless” featured the recording debut of ANIMALS AS LEADERS, the true band — Abasi (guitars), Javier Reyes (guitars) and Navene Koperweis (drums), who wrote and recorded “Weightless” together in mid-2011, with Koperweis producing and Reyes mixing. Koperweis has since left the group, and was replaced by Matt Garstka prior to a UK tour with Meshuggah earlier this year. Garstka also joined the band on their recent North American tour with Thrice, and will again be behind the kit when they kick off a European headlining tour on Oct. 16.
Look for ANIMALS AS LEADERS’ new music video for the title track from “Weightless” — a teaser for which was recently posted online — to debut soon.