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Animals As Leaders

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Animals As Leaders The Joy of Motion album cover
3.83 | 124 ratings | 7 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ka$cade (5:23)
2. Lippincott (4:22)
3. Air Chrysalis (5:05)
4. Another Year (3:50)
5. Physical Education (4:40)
6. Tooth and Claw (4:23)
7. Crescent (4:23)
8. The Future That Awaited Me (4:33)
9. Para Mexer (4:29)
10. The Woven Web (4:07)
11. Mind = Spun (4:35)
12. Nephele (4:31)

Total Time 54:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Tosin Abasi / lead guitar
- Javier Reyes / rhythm guitar
- Matthew Garstka / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Jay Wynne

CD Sumerian Records ‎- SUM473 (2014, US)

2LP Sumerian Records ‎- SUMLP 487 (2014, US)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ANIMALS AS LEADERS The Joy of Motion Music

ANIMALS AS LEADERS The Joy of Motion ratings distribution

(124 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

ANIMALS AS LEADERS The Joy of Motion reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Warthur
3 stars Animals as Leaders' third album feels like it's hitting diminishing returns on the djent side of the equation compared to the rather more interesting Weightless, but it manages to just about make the cut thanks to the exploration of jazz fusion and Latin styles that yields a more diverse sound than they've previously enjoyed. At the same time, I can't help but wish that these momentary flirtations with expanding and reconfiguring the group's sound had gone a little deeper, since whilst they add a little spice here, they don't go quite so far enough as to open up enough new creative directions to feel confident about the group's long-term prospects.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I must admit that Technical Metal and even Math Rock aren't anywhere near the top of my favourite Prog sub-genres but once in a while i'll put on something like "The Joy Of Motion" just to be reminded at how incredible some of these musicians are. Complex instrumental music is often described as "cold" but I rarely felt that with this album as there is an organic feeling throughout this record. This is my first taste of ANIMALS AS LEADERS and certainly guitarist Tosin Abasi has blown me away but the drummer Matthew Garstka also needs to be mentioned for his outstanding play.

The first time I put this album on and heard "Ka$cade" a smile came over my face after hearing such complex music with all those punchy sounds. And I have to mention the sound quality which is perfect thankfully which helps in the presentation of such skilled musicians. I love the guitar in this opening track especially just before 4 minutes. "Lippincott" is about precision although I like the calm a minute in with those synth-like sounds. This will appear again later and man this guy can drum.

"Air Chrysalis" is so uplifting after a minute with that beautiful sounding guitar which is a nice contrast to the sections with those deeper sounds. "Another Year" is a lighter track with some cool guitar expressions. Another song that stands out is "Crescent" where it sounds like a hopped up car idling. Love it! My favourite though is "The Future That Awaited Me" which is gorgeous and emotional for me. Such an uplifting sound here and the guitar moves me. "The Woven Web" has a spacey sound after 2 minutes which I really enjoy as well as the heaviness with atmosphere that follows. Great sound before 4 minutes as well. "Nephele" ends the album with heavy riffs and insane drumming as the guitar solos over top. Also check out the beautiful acoustic section.

A very impressive all instrumental album, in fact I have already ordered their debut.

Review by Negoba
5 stars Heavy, Detailed, Complex, Beautiful

Like many, I was completely blown away by Animals as Leaders debut album. It was music unlike anything I'd ever heard. Not quite a decade later and there are more imitators than you can throw a headless 8 string at. Instrumental djent has become almost synonymous with modern prog metal. Scanning through Spotify, the sound has been so diluted that it's hard to surprise. While AaL certainly didn't sophomore slump with WEIGHTLESS, they didn't achieve that "holy shiz, what did I just hear" of the debut. It was probably impossible.

Enter JOY OF MOTION. In it, AaL may have musically eclipsed the debut. The fact that I almost universally turn to this album rather than any of the other 3 even after 3 years when I want to hear their sound point to that fact. The special sauce that for me takes AaL above the imitators is the musicality. There is a sense of melody, of composition, of ethereal beauty that makes this music meaningful (to these ears) to people beyond metal heads, guitar nerds, and prog junkies. Songs like "The Woven Web" and "Kaskade" are soundscapes that I can dive into, headphones taking me away from the rest of the world. Yet the overall sound is perhaps heavier than ever. Guitarist Tosin Abasi had by this point full integrated his thumb-thumping, slap-bass derived technique which adds a new layer to the mix.

While the music here is unflinchingly complex, I get less of a sense that the band is trying to simply blow their chops as they did during the first two albums. Everything has a purpose, and the melodic lines are more emotionally articulated. To be sure, there are still passages that would frighten young guitarists back to their mothers, but that aspect is less in your face. The rhythm guitar is front and center, and the programming elements continue to be essential glue that accents the music.

Bottom line: Not only my favorite Animals as Leaders album, my favorite modern prog/instrumental djent album

Latest members reviews

4 stars The trio of musicians that is Animals as Leaders is arguably the most technically gifted group of musicians working in progressive metal music today - quite an impressive feat when you consider that technical proficiency is essentially a requirement for achieving prog metal greatness. Tosin Abas ... (read more)

Report this review (#2353807) | Posted by ssmarcus | Thursday, April 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Same old same old: 5/10 The technical proficiency of the musicians from ANIMALS AS LEADERS is admirable pretty admirable, something observable since their unpretentious yet successful debut. THE JOY OF MOTION is their third release, a djenty act with huge influences from jazz. It tries to cou ... (read more)

Report this review (#1779850) | Posted by Luqueasaur | Wednesday, September 6, 2017 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Tolerable, Yet Uninteresting I've never liked Animals As Leaders. I guess I should state that upfront, so anyone who wants to disregard my opinion can do so, before they get too invested in reading what I have to say. I really don't like this whole subculture, the Sumerian records-led teenage ... (read more)

Report this review (#1160373) | Posted by Gallifrey | Friday, April 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars So what's all the fuss about, huh? I'll tell you. I decided to write my review of The Joy of Motion since it had no reviews thus far. I could have easily written the same review for each of the previous albums. They are all worth listening to. They are all a special and unique display of musi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1153051) | Posted by AgostinoScafidi | Monday, March 24, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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