[Live Review + Photography] Animals As Leaders – Live in Hong Kong

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(Scroll Down For English)

正如他們的名字一樣,Animals As Leaders 代表著野性瘋狂的技術和極複雜的音樂造詣。這晚AAL在香港的首場演出,充分地把錄音室作品內的瘋狂在現場展示出來,所靠的只有一支結他、一支低音結他、一套鼓和十六條弦線,不倚賴多餘的癈話,也沒有花俏的技倆,只是純粹的音樂交流。

Just as their name – Animals As Leaders are a beasty representation of insane technicality and ultra-complex musicianship. This night at their debut show in Hong Kong, the band fully transform that from their studio recording to the live showcase. Just one guitar, one bass, one set of drums and 16 strings. No bullshit, no fancy tricks, just pure musical exchange.

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Photo Gallery 現場相集 – Animals As Leaders – Live in Hong Kong
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來自華盛頓特D.C.的Animals As LeadersTosin Abasi2007年創立,亦是少有憑着純音樂歌曲在金屬圈取得注意的團隊,但Abasi由備受讚許的首張同名專輯就贏得各界注意。他們的音樂聽起來就像帶你走上無邊際的太空旅程,幻想中的火花在腦海中閃爍漂流,但只有他們的現場,才能把意境變成一個有形的展示。

Hailing from Washington D.C., Animals As Leaders was founded by Tosin Abasi in 2007. Only a few instrumental metal groups can break out in the metal scene but Abasi successfully gain the attention with their critically-acclaimed, self-titled debut. Their recording may sound like taking you to a space journey with imaginative sparks flashing through your mind, but it’s their live which make it tangible to look at and appreciate it even more.

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這個 Djent 三人組在現場沒有說太多 —— 只是簡單感謝到場的樂迷們,並表示:「這 (香港) 是這個地球上最酷的城市!」他們以新專輯 The Madness of Many 中的Arithmophobia 作起首曲目,旋即把帶你到他們的音樂幻想世界中,舞台充滿了高密度煙霧,加上單色燈光,看起來像個能夠駕馭複雜節拍的機器人,超越普通人類極限。

The djent masters don’t say much in live – only thank their fans for being here and how much they like our city “This is the coolest city in the planet!” said Abasi. Kicing off the show with “Arithmophobia” off their latest album ‘The Madness of Many,” they immediately take you to their music fantasy. The stage is filled with high density of smoke from the haze machine, together with the monotonous flashing light, they look like some sort of robot, or alien to be more accurate, who are able to master scales and beats that ordinary human beings cannot.

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Javier Reyes 的低音通過音響系統,直接從弦線震動你的心,感覺就像心跳隨著切換節奏而一同改變,直接觸動你的神經。台下更有觀眾尖叫:「這不是音樂,這是他媽的科學!」那可是對AAL最完全的形容 —— 他們的音樂是個精心設計的物理結構,包含著無限可能性,容許各個樂器和節拍自由流動但同時又互相配合。

Javier Reyes’s bassline amplified through the stereo, hitting straight to you heart from the strings. It feels like your heart beat is changing whenever they switch tempo. It was so beautiful, so impressive. “It’s not music, it’s fucking science!” shout from a fan. Yes, it truly is one like physical model capturing the infinite possibility – with each piece of instrument and different tempo express on its own yet compatible with each other. 

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今次現場體驗非常有趣,一方面感覺像個重型math rock音樂會、又有點複雜的後搖之感、甚至散發迷幻搖滾聚會的氣氛,只是flower power被整齊完美的編曲和樂器技術所取代。當歌曲短節變得funky時,不禁讓人跟著節拍舞動!總之每首歌都給你不同層次的感覺。

The live experience is very interesting – it feels like a math rock concert but heaver, or a post-rock presentation but more complex, or even a psychedelic gathering where the flower power is replaced by neat and technical composition. You can also welcomed to dance along when the beat got funked up! Each song gives you different layers of sensation.

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當過渡至特別受歡迎的歌曲如 Physical Education 時,觀眾更會「唱出」拍子,偶爾的breakdown很容易令年輕樂迷跟著headbang和mosh pit。我們特別喜歡的現場演繹還有 The Woven Web Cognitive Contortions,展示了原曲的另一面。

When they reach to hits like “Physical Education,” the audience use their vocal to help “sing” the beat. Occasional breakdown induce heavy headbang and circle pit in the centre of the crowd. Some of our live favorite must be “The Woven Web” and “Cognitive Contortions” which have elevated to a whole new level with live instruments.

Animals As Leaders 選擇以其事業早期推出、引起各界注意的CAFO完成演出。場內每個人都對此曲節非常熟悉,更跟著很prog地拍手。這是完全擁抱音樂根本的晚上,純粹地對以音樂人、器樂、技術為中心的慶典。對於有樂器背景的樂迷,也可算是一個音樂工作坊,借此機會以眼睛和耳朵現場零阻隔分析歌曲 —— 不論是左手在指板的舞動、右手的混合彈奏技術,或是混音上的效果等。正如文首所言,今晚就讓這些他們成為音樂的領袖吧。

It comes in a perfect end with their early anthem “CAFO.”  Everyone on the floor knows the beats and all clap along in a prog wave. It’s a total embrace of music to its root, a pure celebration of artists’ technical and compositional skills. It’s also a somewhat workshop when fans with instrumental background can analyse the songs with both eyes and ears – from the movement of left hand fingers flying over the fretboard, to the right hand hybrid techniques and the little twist to the mix of sound. This night, let these animals be the leaders.

Setlist:
1. Arithmophobia
2. Tempting Time
3. Wave of Babies
4. An Infinite Regression
5.  Ectogenesis
6.  Cognitive Contortions
7.  Nephele
8. Tooth and Claw
9.  Ka$cade
10. The Brain Dance
11.  Physical Education
12.  Inner Assassins
13. The Woven Web
14. CAFO

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Photo Gallery 現場相集 – Animals As Leaders – Live in Hong Kong
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