A lot has changed over the course of the last few years in LA-metalcore outfit Volumes with vocalist Michael Barr’s departure in 2015 to the band signing to Fearless Records this year and releasing a new album, Different Animals. Volumes haven’t released an album since 2014’s No Sleep, and while their Fearless debut is an intriguing sound in thought, the poor execution throughout is disappointing at best.
Different Animals starts strong, though. An explosive verse of energetic and quick screams begins “Waves Control.” It’s the first song that truly showcases the vocal delivery from both Guy Farias and newly-added ex-Bury Your Dead frontman Mike Terry. “Finite” might just be one of the best tracks on the album – the R&B-style vocals are heavily addictive and a chorus good enough to compete with modern-day pop radio. Not so good, however, lies the fifth song “Pieces” – a track that feels forced in its delivery while also being lackluster in its lyrical exchange. The cliches throughout (“I’m falling down to pieces” speaks for itself) are direct cringes and the worst examples of modern metalcore. Following a brief interlude commencing a buildup is the song “Hope” which through me off immediately with a rap intro. The verses fall flat and the chorus sounds lazy. The rapping is actually the only substance the song has.
The first half of Different Animals excluding “Pieces” are definitely quality songs worth producing, but the latter tracks fall short. The four tracks to begin the album are contagious R&B-like metalcore songs that are instant hits, but once Volumes start include components like rap, hip hop, and try doing too much are where the album starts turning me off. Even “Pullin’ Shades” is flat; the verses are weakly executed while the chorus is phenomenal. It’s the uneven aspects of the album that are turn-offs and simply why there are one or two songs worth listening to.
Volumes – Different Animals
Release: June 9, 2017 – Fearless Records
Rating: 5/10 – Brad LaPlante
Replay Worthy: “Finite”
Buy it, Stream it, or Skip it?: Skip it. While “Finite” is definitely gold, the rest of the record turns me off.