What began as the solo project of 8-string guitar virtuoso Tosin Abasi is now a full-fledged instrumental, experi-metal band, and the sonic journey in just one Animals as Leaders song traverses all sorts of terrain, from free jazz to '70s classic rock. Proggy metal has a tendency to get tedious and sterile, but Abasi does a pretty good job of throwing in so many engaging surprises that the band's newest release, The Madness of Many, mostly avoids those pitfalls. (Safe bet)

What began as the solo project of 8-string guitar virtuoso Tosin Abasi is now a full-fledged instrumental, experi-metal band, and the sonic journey in just one Animals as Leaders song traverses all sorts of terrain, from free jazz to '70s classic rock.

Proggy metal has a tendency to get tedious and sterile, but Abasi does a pretty good job of throwing in so many engaging surprises that the band's newest release, The Madness of Many, mostly avoids those pitfalls. (Safe bet)