REVIEW: VOLUMES – “Different Animals”
Dawn 'Mama Love' Brown
One of the most popular metal subgenres in 2017 would be Metalcore with a multitude of bands not only debuting but also reaching the ranks of seasoned professionals. One band that is making a name for itself is Volumes, a 5-man crew out of Los Angeles, California consisting of Diego Farias on guitar, Raad Soudani on bass, Nick Ursich on drums and Gus Farias and Myke Terry on vocals. With two full-length records and an EP under their belts, they’ve come together to release their third outing, ‘Different Animals’ set to drop on June 9th, 2017. This is their first effort with Fearless Records, having signed with them prior to the release of the first single from the album, “Feels Good” in 2016.
This album definitely gets your attention straight out of the gate with “Waves Control” which has a jolting intro that rolls into a djenty mess with an unconventional time signature, but is strangely satisfying. “Finite” is one of my favorites on this record. It’s got all the things that are great about Metalcore such as clean vocals and underlying aggressive metal growls with a great catchy chorus. “Life is only finite…finite”.
As mentioned previously, “Feels Good”, the single released in 2016, is another selection with a catchy chorus and the Metalcore staple of dual vocals and a unique blend of guitar and percussion which is the embodiment of the djent sound. “Disaster Vehicle” has a distinctive recurring riff that runs throughout the song that sounds like the musical equivalent of anxiety. “Pieces” is another that could be considered a “classic” example of Metalcore/Nu metal.
There’s a myriad of different influences present on this album. “Hope Mix 7” and its intro have some orchestral elements, as well as a metal/rap hybrid and a drum machine, think a heavier, more versatile Linkin Park. The hip-hop element may not be to everyone’s liking but it shows versatility and creativity. This also shines through on “Tides Change” the instrumental contribution on the album. The hip-hop influence comes back on “On Her Mind” interspersed with clean vocals and more time signature changes.
Rounding out the album are “Heavy Silence”, “Pulling Shades” and “Left For Dead”, the last of which could easily be considered the heaviest track of the 12 tracks on this record. The songs that make up ‘Different Animals’ all share complex arrangements, thoughtful lyrics and adept musicianship culminating in an amalgamation of djent, Nu metal, Metalcore and hip-hop. If you really listen carefully you can hear all sorts of things going on aside from the basic elements of guitar, drums and vocals which lends an air of industrial influence to the sound of this album as well.
There is a reason why Volumes comes highly recommended by their peers in the metal industry. They’re tight, they’re aggressive, they’re great musicians and songwriters with a solid sense of their identity, even if that sense is slightly elusive to the listener. This is definitely a must-listen for those who gravitate towards the djent/Metalcore sub-genre.