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Animals As Leaders - The Joy Of Motion Award winner

Animals As Leaders
The Joy Of Motion
by Matt Coe at 14 April 2014, 5:29 PM

Who would have thought that a progressive metal instrumental act that originally started as a solo outlet for guitarist Tosin Abasi would turn into this monumental impact group? Sure we’ve known a few Shrapnel players through the years that pushed the envelope and influenced the next generation of shredders, but it’s been a while since a trio of musicians like ANIMALS AS LEADERS that can astound, delight, impress, and write some cool, memorable jams to boot.

“The Joy of Motion” is the third full-length from the band, a 12 song journey into all lands of experimental Progressive Metal. You will feel jazzy moments careening headlong into Djent groove on “Physical Education”, time signature mad-cap oddities that fuse into this uplifting guitar refrain for “Ka$cade”, all the way through to quieter, ambient offerings that showcase the trio’s interactive musical chemistry on “The Future That Awaited Me”.

Drummer Matt Garstka is given free domain to push his skills to the highest degree, and he is more than up for the challenge on his recording debut for the band. Check out some of the snare to cymbal to bass timing on “Lippincott” and the ultimate cat and mouse musical maze match “Mind-Spun” where he keeps up with the Abasi / Reyes dark chord constructions, electronic dynamic nuances and plugs along at a variety of doom to progressive tempos without missing a proverbial beat. Guest help from Misha Mansoor and Adam Getgood of PERIPHERY plus Diego Farias of VOLUMES gives the band exemplary support to this material- filling in the shades and fleshing out the musical portraits.

ANIMALS AS LEADERS tenuously straddle a line between appealing solely to the schooled musician camp and gaining a fan base beyond into normal “Progressive Metal” territory. “The Joy of Motion” will not disappoint the long-term fans, and possibly could gain a foothold into more of the mainstream – a rare treat for an instrumental act.

4 Star Rating

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
Tosin Abasi – 7 and 8 String Guitars
Javier Reyes – 7 and 8 String Guitars
Matt Garstka – Drums
Record Label: Sumerian Records


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