Maybe my perspective is just different because I don't really listen to metal, but I honestly couldn't care less even if the guy wrote songs and had other people play them. He would still be in my top 5 current musicians. Technical proficiency is pretty far down there for me in terms of how I 'judge' people. Technical proficiency is, however, great when you are a writer because you can use those techniques as you write which is very intuitive and conducive to the creative process. But if you can't play your own stuff, so be it. Think of the entirety of classical music. Do we ever listen to pieces as played by the composer? No, not usually. Heck, I program the drums in my music. Do I feel guilty? No. I still wrote every note. And @Addison90, I understand your sentiment but I'd just keep in mind that that isn't every AAL fan... Maybe I just say that defensively because (not trying to toot my own horn) I myself have a good grasp of a fair amount of music theory, and I listen primarily to jazz, classical, etc. But Tosin really is a talented composer. And people talking about musical complexity and the ability to pick apart and analyze vs. 'emotional content'..... I can't believe people still compare these like they are mutually exclusive. For me at least, the nuance and (music theory-wise) complexity in songs is what makes them emotionally strong. Emotions aren't simple, and music isn't either. Coincidence? Think again. To make a generalized observation: if I listen to a song that is of the sort that I can come back later and pick apart and analyze all of the nuance, complexities, etc., it's much more likely that I derive true enjoyment from listening. It doesn't require that I pick apart the song, but I'll do that anyways because, heck, it's one of my favorite things to do in the world. Anyways, sorry for the rant.