Saturday, March 22, 2014

Animals as Leaders - The Joy of Motion (2014)
Instrumental progressive giants Animals as Leaders have returned with their third offering and boy does it pack a wallop. After the excellent, yet slightly unsatisfying "Weightless" in 2011, "The Joy of Motion" sees the band less willing to experiment and more focused on delivering something both powerful and memorable. With 12 songs and no filler, it's an incredibly dense album that offers enough variety amongst the stellar musicianship to keep listeners happy. Most songs here are reminiscent of the band's earlier work, but a few have brand new elements such as the stomping grooves of "Physical Education" and the Latin flavor of "Para Mexer." But regardless of whether it's new sounds the band are incorporating or if they're relying on the same basic jazz fusion/prog metal admixture that brought them to fame in the first place, this is simply a phenomenal album. While it doesn't reach the heights of the debut, at least in my book, it does come pretty close. Once again AAL have proven their worth and set the bar astronomically high for other bands and musicians. If you haven't heard this masterpiece yet then it's about time for you to go over to Sumerian Records' official channel and prepare to have your jaw hit the floor.

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