Animals As Leaders's The Joy Of Motion: an instrumental record that is actually as catchy as hell

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.

Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences. He's interviewed everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handling lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).