As the sole contributor to Guitar Moderne’s content, posts naturally reflect my musical tastes. You may have noticed these tastes do not normally run toward heavier or highly technical styles like Metal or Prog. Still, I have been peripherally aware of Animals As Leaders for some time. It took Premier Guitar’s Rig Rundown with the band to make me realize they were prime Guitar Moderne candidates. Eight- and sometimes nine-string guitarists Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes, along with drummer Matt Garstka are performing music that stems from Metal and Prog, but also embraces Jazz, Fusion, Math Rock, Classical, and Ambient as influences. Their genre combining alone would make them modern, but Abasi’s new signature Ibanez guitar also appears like something sent back from the future, combined with Reyes embrace of amp modeling for live work makes them a band that is pushing the art of guitar forward. Anyone interested in where the instrument might go, need to know about these pioneers. I hope to have an interview with Abasi posted in the New Year.