Friday, 5 June 2015

Animals As Leaders "The Joy Of Motion" (2014)

Animals As Leaders are an American trio of musicians founded by brainchild of the bands aural identity, Toni Abasi. His mastery of the 8 string guitar gave himself and his band a spotlight of attention around the release of their self titled debut back in 2010. Toni's guitar style was memorizing, fast, intricate and thrilling. Not only technically gorgeous he forged a new sound and approach to the 8 string, combining the familiar low end polyrhythmic djents with bright, clean acoustic shredding that blazed sweeping melodics alongside glitchy electronics. It was a sound that influenced the likes of "Sithu Aye" and others in the present Progressive Metal scene.

The Joy Of Motion felt like an instant familiarity, tight bass and drum grooves guided enigmatic colorful leads through a sea of songs that sailed at explored many themes. After a few listens the class of this record started to shine. On the surface the bands sound has barely progressed, but in the subtleties their craft has taken on a maturity that delivered many of their best grooves to date. The polyrhythms come at an ease and technicality that made them much easier on ones sense of rhythm and groove, while still retaining some level of complexity but friendlier overall. Within these grooves a lot of the metal tones had been transitioned to a battered, beating of the guitars for much more tonal and textured noises to chime with the beat, as opposed to chords and leads the band continually made low clunky noises and harmonics. In terms of the melodic side there was a touch of Latin guitar in the acoustics alongside the guitar solos making this record very colorful and bright, as one would expect.

The records production was exactly what they have needed. Compared to the previous two records you can hear a wealth of depth and clarity in all the instruments and their presence together. It gave the record a stage for the charm of this groups sound to shine, and it did so. All the songs were bright, warm and indulging and together it made for another strong record that felt very safe within the means of what this band are capable of. For everything I enjoyed it came as no surprise, I find myself more interested in what their next progression could be, however there is nothing here to be disappointed about.

Favorite Tracks: Another Year, The Future That Awaited Me, Para Mexer, The Woven Web
Rating: 8/10