Animals As Leaders: The Joy Of Motion

Instrumental explorers prove less is more

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Let's face it, instrumental music never has been or ever will be cool. But the recent surge of bands opting to let their music do the talking did prove one thing: there is geek-driven power in numbers. And if there are any doubts over whether Animals As Leaders are still the leaders of the pack after what feels like a long wait since 2011’s Weightless, The Joy Of Motion will silence them in one fell sweep.

Tosin Abasi isn’t just one of the best guitarists in metal, he’s one of the best in music. That said, it’s not really the level of technicality that makes album number three such a mesmerising listen, but rather the level of restraint.

The smooth fusion leitmotifs on Another Year, Physical Education and The Future That Awaited Me will etch their way into your brain before you can say the words ‘frosted shreddies’.

Yes there are chords you’d need more surgery than Michael Jackson to be able to play and arpeggios that probably keep Steve Vai awake at night, but the Washington trio have managed to deliver an instrumental record that is actually as catchy as hell.