Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Black History Month: Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders)

Welcome to the start of CFW Rocks' look at up and coming rock and metal artists of color. This is not really meant to be about whether black artists are better than white artists or vice versa.

This is meant to give an answer to oft-played out stereotypes that black people are just out to be rappers and R&B singers. I hope to open a lot of eyes and ears out there.

With that being said, my first focus is on Tosin Abasi, lead guitarist of one of the best instrumental metal bands out there, Animals as Leaders.

Tosin Abasi used to be the lead guitarist of metal band Born of Osiris, but developed an innovative instrumental project that best shows off his chops. With the help of Periphery lead guitarist Misha "Bulb" Mansoor, the project released its debut in 2009.

Internet buzz about a relatively new genre of metal called Djent gave Animals as Leaders spots in festivals such as South By Southwest, headlining tours with bands such as Dead Letter Circus, and opening for bands like Underoath and Thursday.

Most guitarists can barely master six strings. Tosin plays 8 string guitars...LIKE A BOSS!

And Tosin is now also playing with a band called TRAM, a band that features Javier Reyes, also of Animals as Leaders and members that have played with The Mars Volta and Suicidal Tendencies.

Their debut album Lingua Franca debuts February 28th on Sumerian Records. Tosin's widely considered one of the best guitarists in any genre, period. With the eight string guitar playing and ease with which he can carry a solo, I think I'd be silly not to agree.

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