Every three to four years, a particular sub-genre of metal makes a resurgence, and there’s no denying that metalcore has been becoming a more prominent figure in the music industry over the last few years with bands such as LA’s Volumes at the forefront.
Volumes are a band that has had controversy follow them for the past few years. Countless line-up changes and record label troubles haven’t painted the best public image for the band. A bad reputation is hard to shake off, but releasing two well-received and acclaimed records is a good way to start repairing it and now the band are hoping to make that three with ‘Different Animals’, their first with Fearless Records.
From the get go, opener ‘Waves Control’ hits you straight in the face with a barrage of distorted and groovy guitar riffs in the band’s typical djent style, and, realistically, this sets the tone for the majority of the record as there’s not too much room for change.
New vocalist Myke Terry is a great addition, and gives a new lease of life to the band. His clean vocals create some of the most memorable and poignant moments on the record, such as the first half of ‘Heavy Silence’, an acoustic rendezvous into snarling guitars, pounding drums, and crunching growls.
‘Tides Change’ is a completely instrumental track that has the inclusion of orchestral instruments, acoustic guitars, and programmed electronics. As a singular track it’s a real triumph, and a great piece of musicianship, and is by far the most diverse and interesting track on the album. Unfortunately it shouldn’t have a place on this album; being such a simplistic record, a track this complex really detracts from the rest of the release.
‘Different Animals’ treads a fine line between not taking itself too seriously, and being rather poignant at times. You have to give credit to the band for trying to take that step away from their previous, relatively musically mundane efforts. The problem is that it hasn’t really worked for them this time.
The band has perfected the new era style of metalcore over their last two records, and it’s well within their rights to progress. This record isn’t a step down by any means, even if it may not be as highly acclaimed. What ‘Different Animals’ creates is a signal to the future and a sign of things to come, which, providing they can nail the new sound that they’re aiming for, is very promising. With this in mind, to take the record on face value, it’s disappointing and leaves a lot to be desired.
Written by Jacob Eynon (@itsjustjake93)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.