Gig Review

Animals As Leaders
Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
13th April 2012

Meshuggah               Animals As Leaders


Animals As Leaders are an extremely impressive instrumental 3 piece based in Washington DC formed by extraordinary guitarist Tosin Abasi back in 2007, tonight they have been dealt quite an easy task of warming up an already excited Meshuggah crowd here in Wolverhampton. Right from the get go I was genuinely surprised to see how many people actually already loved the band, I saw many people with their t-shirts and the reaction was they got from merely coming out onstage was ridiculous, I obviously underestimated them. With instrumental music live I sometimes find myself losing interest because there’s not much in the way of a huge show or means of bonding with their crowd and admittedly the same thing happened this evening but not on the usual scale, I was still finding myself drawn to watching Abasi drift over his fret board like nobody’s business and watching Matt Garstka giving his drum kit the pounding of its life. The reaction never diminished either it remained extremely loud and aggressive after each and every song, Abasi only said 15 words if that the entire set and still managed to have this bond which in all honesty warrants my respect in a huge way.

Meshuggah then naturally came out and killed it, and I mean really killed it. The weird thing was though, I was expecting more, as good as they played and as explosive as the crowd was I don’t know what I was expecting but I feel maybe the small venue has brought them down a bit. I think that comes from hearing how aggressive lead vocalist Jens Kidman was on stage but I just wasn’t seeing or feeling that tonight, however the lighting rig did render most people blind for the majority of the set due to the sheer brightness of them and vast amount. Having said all of that I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw, if possible I think Kidman said less words than Tosin Abasi from Animals As Leaders did in their set! Never the less we were treated to an hour and a half of straight up red blooded aggression with songs like “Bleed”, “Lethargica”, “The Hurt That Finds You First” and many many more, all accompanied with eye piercing lighting. A 3 song encore concluded the set consisting of “Future Breed Machine”, “Dancers to a Discordant System” and “The Last Vigil” putting a triumphant end to a great set, Considering they didn’t really live up to my initial expectations I still found myself thoroughly enjoying myself, would definitely be up for it again.

Animals as Leaders – 3.5/5
Meshuggah – 4/5

Review By James Webb


Jens Kidman
Fredrik Thordendal
Mårten Hagström
Tomas Haake
Dick Lövgren

 Animals As Leaders

Tosin Abasi
Javir Reyes
Navene Koperweis

 Band Related Links
Meshuggah Facebook
Animals As Leaders Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?