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Animals as Leaders
The Joy of Motion
Type: CD
Company: Sumerian
Release: 2014
Genre: Heavy/Extreme
Reviewer: Greg Watson
Published: 12/2/2014
Purely instrumental
American-based metal act Animals as Leaders is somewhat of an anomaly in this generation's metal, being that they are purely instrumental--no vocals at all. With their latest release 'The Joy of Motion', Animals shows that you don't need to have vocals in a band and still be destructively heavy with just your music. From beginning to end, 'The Joy of Motion' is a showcase of the band's musical ability which is highlighted by guitarist and founder Tosin Abasi. The things this guy can do with a guitar would make Malmsteen jealous. His riffs, style of playing and speed are just mind boggling. Add in the fact that bassist Javier Reyes pulls off some Victor Wooten type bass lines and drummer Matt Garstka is pounding on the skins like his life depends on it and you have a band that doesn't get anywhere near the recognition that they deserve. Yes, they're instrumental but who cares?!? Listen to "Tooth and Claw" or "Air Chrysalis" and tell me that this band isn't metal or that they'd be better with vocals. There are so many layers and so much going on that vocals would distract from what the band is all about--the music. With heavy riffing, jazzy interludes, slapping bass and some good chugging headbanging breakdowns, 'The Joy of Motion' is a welcome addition to the metal book. This is the band's third album and second album produced by Misha Monsoor. If you're looking for something that is a bit outside the box and that you can enjoy for repeated listens then this one is for you.

About this Writer:
Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ANIMALS AS LEADERS
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
The Joy of MotionAnimals as Leaders
2014
Greg Watson12/2/2014


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: ANIMALS AS LEADERS

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