Speaking Volumes “Via” Breakdowns

For fans of: Periphery, Meshuggah, After the Burial

From Los Angeles, CA comes a group of young genre-benders called Volumes. Their sound can be described as a mix between chuggy “djent,” and post-rock flavored melody. Upon first listen, I found the album to be rather frustrating: the band’s chugging sections became very monotonous compared to the more melodic sections. My interest would be briefly piqued, but then I’d sit around waiting for the next memorable section.

Volumes are at their best when creating these memorable moments. They most often come in the form of (actual) riffs, clean singing, and melodic layering. The key for them is to find the balance when juggling all the different elements of their sound.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I absolutely love about half of the song “The Columbian Faction.”  I even find myself singing along whenever it comes on. It builds and builds, but then abruptly cuts to a droning chug section, and that’s the problem for me. The chugging sections can come across as very sterile and emotionless. It sometimes feels like they’re just taking up space.

At the end of the day, it’s the more memorable melodic moments that I’m going to remember about this record. I’m not going to remember any of the chugging parts. They all tend to blend together. I’m not going to say, “Oh yeah I love that part that goes 5-2-5-2-2-4” (Yes, I sat down and counted out one of their breakdowns). I understand that both elements are a part of their sound, and it’s the contrast from those chugging sections that allow the melodic parts to shine even more.  However, it’s the melodic parts where I find myself really engaged as a listener.

I’m not saying Volumes would be better off ditching the metal part of their sound. After all, they are predominantly a metal band. However, I feel that the melodic parts reach much higher points and in greater frequency than the metal parts do. In all fairness though, this album has grown on me, and I find myself listening to it more and more. I’ll continue listening to this album, and eagerly anticipating what the band does next.

-Randall

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About Randall Woo
Me, fail English? That's unpossible.

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