Animals as Leaders – The Joy of Motion

Animals as Leaders is a rising star in instrumental progressive metal. The band centers on guitarist, Tobin Abasi, who is joined by guitarist, Javier Reyes, and drummer, Matt Garstka. The Joy of Motion is Animals as Leaders’ third album and is closer in style to their debut self-titled album. It continues the jazzy, djent, instrumental metal as found on prior releases. Overall, the album is not too metal, with more emphasis on the jazzy elements and a feeling of being in space. Several songs sound like the smooth jazz/soft rock guitar solo songs you would hear playing at the supermarket, but with more metal influence and the occasional Meshuggah-style djent seven and eight string guitar riffing. The song, Another Year, in particular has that kind of vibe to it. The opening track, Ka$cade, sounds very similar to something off of the first album. Several other tracks have, what sounds like a very funky bass-line that you would hear off of a 80s Michael Jackson song. The Joy of Motion is a solid instrumental metal album that is quite relaxing. Most of the songs are similar, although there is variety within the songs, which are augmented by some nice solos. I still prefer the debut album, but The Joy of Motion is a worthy addition to Animals as Leaders’ discography.

Genre: Progressive Metal, Instrumental, Djent
Country: USA
Label: Sumerian Records
Release: March 24, 2014

1 – Ka$cade
2 – Lippincott
3 – Air Chrysalis
4 – Another Year
5 – Physical Education
6 – Tooth and Claw
7 – Crescent
8 – The Future That Awaited Me
9 – Para Mexer
10 – The Woven Web
11 – Mind-Spun
12 – Nephele

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