VOLUMES are a band which simply cannot be singularly categorised, their third release, Different Animals, brings together their previous experimentation and use of bouncy, groove orientated riffs and breakdowns and pushes it further from the Djent stereotype.
The album opens with the no holds barred Waves Control, showcasing the band hasn’t lost any aggression that was much-loved on their previous release; 2014’s No sleep. The chorus then showcases the first hint of melody with new vocalist Myke Terry‘s smooth cleans echoed with Gus Farias low churned vocals creating a beautiful dichotomy. The next track Finite further proves Terry’s ability, his lines providing a buttery smooth layer amid the low tuned guitars and bass riffing away to create a wall of sound. This song also brings into play VOLUMES‘ use of electronic elements to the listener, providing beautiful passages to transition before the guitars launch into another riff. The first single from the album, Feels Good, is certainly a high point of the album, once again blending the two different vocalist’s styles into a memorable chorus and unusually catchy chorus.
The track also highlights the quality of the production of the album, this is in due thanks to the guitarist Diego Farias also being a keen producer and mixer, working professionally with Farias Productions of which recently won a Latin Grammy for best traditional pop album along with album of the year, of which both he mixed. This skill is shown in metal through albums produced and mixed by himself with bands such as CHELSEA GRIN, VEIL OF MAYA and ANIMALS AS LEADERS. The anger once again returns for the next track – title track Different Animals which opens into a monstrous rhythm section with the bass thumping to the dissonance of the guitars and ambience building around the rasps and growls from both vocalists. Pieces carries on with the direction of lead single Feels good, bringing with it a smooth and catchy chorus reflecting the harsh vocals of Gus Farias throughout the verses. After a massive ending the song ends and draws into Interlude, an aptly named soft piano piece showcasing the bands use of pop/electronic elements over Terry’s soft soothing vocals.
From this flows the most surprising song on the album; Hope. Starting with a bass and drum beat suited to the rapped vocals which open the song into a metal infusion which pushes the album past the midway point, showing the bands willingness to experiment. The verses are slick and well timed and bring the song to a relaxed break in between the aggression of the chorus, never losing its appeal however with Terry’s style melding the 2 opposites into a strangely satisfying mix. The song closes with the beat and bass thumping into the next interlude Tides Change. This short electronic and piano driven piece brings the album to its second single, the marmite like – On her mind.
It’s clear at this point people on the edge of opinion regarding the rap based mix will either love or detest this song. Maintaining a tight and simple riff the tracks verses bring in guest rapper Pouya whose skill goes without question, his bars smooth and highlighted by the bass keeping along with the flow, following which launches into one of the catchiest choruses thus heard by this reviewer this year. Terry’s vocals here shine as his range showcases his talent along with the wall of sound that is the guitars and bass . Heavy Silence begins very softly with the bass and drums leaving plenty of room for the ambient electronics and the soft vocals to lead into a barrage of anger courtesy of Gus Farias. The song is a perfect blend of the bands dual vocalists along with the softer electronic edge clashing against the low strung riffs which finish the song swiftly. As the album’s second to last track, Pulling Shades continues with the bands experimentation and pushes away from the straight “Djent” Stereotype with a very poppy and soft chorus churning back into a more riff based verse. Electronic elements are all over this song with modulated delays, samples and synths building the atmosphere and bringing with them a dream like state as the song closes after an unexpected yet perfectly fitting guitar solo. The closer Left for Dead leaves no questions to whether VOLUMES have gone soft, the wall of sound here annihilates the listener with a symphony of low tuned aggression all tightly woven into a progressive mesh which is sure to become a live favourite.
Overall Different Animals continues to showcase VOLUMES talent both musically and in terms of audio quality, bringing in further influences and moulding them seamlessly with their sound to astonishing effect that’s raw yet polished and clean providing an easy and enjoyable listen .
Different Animals is out June 9 via Fearless Records.
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