Despite the freezing November evening in London, over 2000 gig-goers have gathered for an evening of Metal. Tonight, the O2 Forum Kentish Town plays host to Animals As Leaders. On the back of their fifth studio release, Parrhesia, the trio embarked on their largest headline show to date. Tonight, the band from Los Angeles captivated the capital of England along with the Swedish Progressive Metalcore band Allt.
Animals As Leaders – Allt
O2 Forum Kentish Town – 2 November 2023
Words And Photography: Lawrence Potter
Around 9:15, the lights dim, and Animals As Leaders take to the stage. The trio burst into Tooth And Claw, starting things off in a big way. Wave Of Babies, the progressive masterpiece, followed.
One of the true pioneers of the progressive instrumental Metal uprising, Animals As Leaders has truly perfected their sound over the years.
At the helm of the machine is one of the guitar world’s true innovators, Tosin Abasi, on lead guitar alongside classically trained rhythm guitarist Javier Reyes and Matt Garstka on the skins.
Sophisticated rhythm guitar parts complimented by insanely melodic lead lines are more than enough for most bands, but this trio pushes the envelope further with elements of hip-hop, jazz and Latin styles to create something special.
Animals As Leaders have the crowd in an absolute trance as they invite the audience to take a captivating journey for the next 90 minutes into their world of Progressive Metal.
This is a show that promises you will never be the same when you leave.
With ridiculous levels of talent on display and creative genius from all involved, it is easy to see why they are one of the heavyweights on the instrumental circuit. No one does it quite like them.
As the evening draws to a finish, the band play us out with their biggest hit to date, Physical Education, followed by The Woven Web. After this, the band leave the stage, and the crowd aren’t having any of it.
The chants for one more song are deafening, and you guessed it right, the band returns one more time and sends the fans home happy with CAFO to cap off the evening.
I highly recommend seeing these guys on the tour if you get a chance. It is truly a musical experience like no other.
As the night starts off, Swedish progressive Metallers Allt are the first to welcome the crowd to a night of djent goodness.
Mixing down-tuned, heavy guitar riffs with melodic licks and enough low-end that your ancestors will feel it, this band is well at home with the theme of this evening.
An engrossing set features nine songs, including the new track The Orphan Breed, with London being the second city ever to hear this song. Allt put on a highly energetic and engaging performance that sets the tone perfectly as our headliners, Animals As Leaders, wait in the wings.