Los Angeles metal outfit, Volumes have been pumping out bouncy djent for the last seven years, even though the style is arguably well past its sell-by date. On their third album, ‘Different Animals’, they fully embrace their nu-metal leanings, ditching a lot of the technicality that was sometimes prominent on earlier releases.
Combining two largely played-out genres may not sound all that intriguing, and Volumes don’t exactly shake things up on ‘Different Animals’. To their credit, though, the album is immensely fun in places. There are bouncy riffs galore, combined with earth-shattering heaviness on ‘Waves Control’, and this is complimented by the anthemic chorus of ‘Feels Good’.
‘Different Animals’ is fun when it sticks to simple songwriting and big, dumb riffs, like on the aforementioned tracks, ‘Finite’, or ‘Left For Dead’. Less fun are the monotonous, mid-paced ‘Pieces’ and the cringeworthy attempt at getting political on ‘Disaster Vehicle’.
Later on, they widen their sonic palette, with varying results. For example, ‘Hope’ incorporates a heavily pop-influenced pre-chorus well, and the rapping on this track is fairly competent, which is uncommon in nu-metal. Elsewhere, in a bizarre pairing, ‘On Her Mind’ features cloud rapper Pouya, and is a fun nu-metal throwback despite a weak guest verse from the aforementioned MC. Gus Farias’ attempt at rapping on this track is barely even worth mentioning.
The album tails off with slower tracks ‘Heavy Silence’ and ‘Pullin’ Shades’, which take Volumes a step back towards stale metalcore and djent sounds. The former manages to grate despite being less than two-and-a-half minutes long, while the latter tries to implement strings but ends up coming off as a chore.
Despite the more pronounced nu-metal influences and some left-field ideas, ‘Different Animals’ is pretty unoriginal and not particularly inspiring. But for fans of either djent or nu-metal, there’s some fun to be had on the surface of the album.
‘Different Animals’ by Volumes is out now on Fearless Records.
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Words by Alan Cunningham (@funeral_polis)