June 5, 2014 Animals As Leaders Dazzle Revolution Amityville, NY 5-16-14 w/ CHON
Progressive instrumental metal outfit Animals As Leaders are firing on all cylinders in 2014, touring consistently through June. Completely their run with After The Burial, the band wasted no time to announce a new tour with Conquering Dystopia and Chon. On the evening of the tour kick-off, Animals As Leaders made a special appearance for what would be a pre-tour show at Revolution Music Hall in Amityville, NY Friday May 16th with Chon as well as unsigned Long Island talents Palmyra, and Ollocs. With a massive line down the side of the venue, as the doors opened at 7:15 PM the anxious crowd of progressive rock enthusiasts piled into the club ready for the evening to begin.
From North Babylon Long Island, Ollocs are a progressive heavy instrumental rock band. Consisting of Russell Frohberg (Bass), Zach Vanderberg (Guitar), Joshua Travis (Guitar), and Andrew Bieler (Drums), the band provides quality constructed arrangements riddled with mood setting tones of heavy guitars with powerful drums and bass. Performing each track with equal intensity, Ollocs showed they have the talent and the music to make a big impression on the scene. Their debut album Life Thread was released October 4th, 2013 and is worthy of a listen.
Next up were progressive metallers Palmyra. Hailing from the local scene, the band consists of Tameem on vocals, DJ on guitar, Christian on guitar, Joe on drums, and TJ on bass. Releasing their debut EP Grandeur in 2012, Palmyra has been showing audiences they are not your typical metalcore act. Bursting onto the stage full of energy, Palmyra assaulted the room with their grooving riffs, virtuoso guitar solos, and thick vocals. The room of loyal followers brook loose into a mosh pit which lasted all set through and Palmyra had a tight grip on the evening as they closed out with an instrumental track. As Tameem walked off the stage he placed his microphone down which motivated a fan to jump onto the stage and start singing along with the music, providing for an interesting and fun conclusion.
Marking the first national act of the evening, and touring mates of Animals As Leaders for the next month plus, were CHON. Coming from Oceanside, CA, CHON has risen to popularity in the progressive metal scene in a few short years. Signed to Royal Division Entertainment, the band recently released their new EP Woohoo! in March which is receiving wide praise in the genre. Consisting of Mario Camarena (guitar), Erick Hansel (guitar), Drew Pelisek (bass) and Nathan Camarena (drums), the band took the stage to a roaring ovation.
With their ear-tingling, skillfully crafted instrumental tunes, CHON had Revolution Music Hall in a groove of pure ecstasy throughout their set. Each song bled into the next seamlessly and showed the talents of technically trained musicians which have spent years mastering their instruments. Playing songs like “Knot”, “Ecco” and “Soda” were just a few stand out moments in the ten song set. Taking one part jazz, one part rock, and one part heavy experimentation, CHON are a band for listeners intrigued by technique. It is one thing to play with precision, but it is another to do so while also keeping the song structure interesting; and CHON did exactly that their entire set. It is no wonder many are calling them one of the brightest young bands out there today.
With fans of all ages at the front of the stage hoping to get a good glimpse at all the action, the crowd filled the entire room with little space in between. It was time for Washington D.C. natives Animals As Leaders to grace the stage. The Summerian Records band has been wowing audiences since 2007 with passionate, progressive, atmospheric instrumental heavy metal and recently celebrated the release of their highly anticipated third album The Joy of Motion. Receiving the praise of their peers in the genre, Animals As Leaders are unquestionably one of the most talked about acts that everyone is yearning to see live.
Opening with “Tooth and Claw” from their new album had the room in a frenzy with emotionally charged moshing on the floor. That very vibrant energy felt in the lead guitar work of Tosin Abasi was felt through the amazing “Tempting Tim” and “Wave of Babies”. This guy is amazing to watch in action as he moves up and down the fret board with ease, playing each note perfectly. The crunching heavy guitar work of Javier Reyes gave the chemical balance needed for the aggression in the music to match Abasi note for note with speed perfection. The mood took a slight shift during the immense drumming of Matt Garstka on “Ka$cade”. Hearing the musicians perform together for such a massive wall of sound makes one wonder how they do it so vividly as a three piece.
Thereafter, Animals As Leaders continued to dazzle with track after track of their tunes from all their records including “Lippincott”, “Air Chrysalis”, and “Physical Education”. With so much adrenaline rushing through the air, a series of crowd surfers made their way above the pit, which is seldom seen at Revolution Music Hall. Closing out the evening was “The Woven Web” followed by “The Weightless” which had fans screaming for more. After a brief moment, Abasi, Reyes, and Garstka wiped the sweat off their face and graciously came back out for a 2009 track “CAFO”.
Animals As Leaders are unquestionably one of the most talented and exciting progressive instrumental metal bands to watch. Their ability to keep their stage presence strong while performing at such a high level instrumentally is remarkable. With the latest tour in full swing, be sure to check out what everyone is raving out before it is too late.
Animals As Leaders, Conquering Dystopia & CHON tour dates as followed:
06/06 Gainesville, FL – High Dive
06/07 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – The Culture Room
06/08 Jacksonville, FL – Brewster’s Roc Bar
06/10 Charleston, SC – The Music Farm
06/11 Charlotte, NC – Amos Southend
06/12 Knoxville, TN – The International
06/13 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
06/17 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
06/18 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
06/19 Tucson, AZ – Club XS
06/20 Phoenix, AZ – The Nile
06/21 Pomona, CA – The Glass House