When Volumes decided to go Via the groovy way, they got No Sleep until they found Different Animals: This might be the band’s discography summed up in one single sentence. In fact, it spans three records in six years. One release every three years; a pretty solid schedule. But what does Different Animals sound like?
It starts (in a somewhat predictable fashion) with a song that is typically groove-oriented, which will likely satisfy fans of previous Volumes material. The first proper highlight found on Different Animals might be “Finite“, which shows why new vocalist Mike Terry is the best addition that the band could have made!
“Finite” is based on a very poppy chord progression, instantly evoking an r’n’b attitude similar to Issues. And honestly, this fits Volumes so damn well! This song is simultaneously catchy and groovy. It might sound strange, but if you took Terry’s vocals and put them over an electro beat instead of a metalcore groove, you would probably have a chart-breaking single! “Feels Good” follows this track in a similarly hooky way.
It might be counter-intuitive to position two singles at the beginning of the record, but these tracks certainly do grab your attention. “Feels Good” sounds a little reworked compared to the single versions from 2016, not being as cheap regarding the synthie production, but still groovy. This song truly takes on the part which “Edge Of The World“ held on Via and “Vahle“ on No Sleep: The one true hit that’s composed to be listened to multiple times in a row! With “Tide’s Change“, the band composed an instrumental interlude that could work in the context of a film score as well. Acoustic guitars build up with added strings and create a mood that could be compared to The Contortionist‘s Language opener “The Source“. Unfortunate enough, the song doesn’t really flow into the next one after creating suspense.
Bringing back nu-metal
But on “On Her Mind“, Volumes decided to feature renowned rapper Pouya, who deliver a pretty interesting mish-mash that reminds one of Nu-Metal, while still sounding contemporary. Bands like Limp Bizkit and KoRn experience a renaissance in this track, layered by a pretty epic backing string orchestration. [To be honest, more of this Nu-Metal vibe would fit perfect, even if it comes across in a very mischievous way, as Nu-Metal is kinda “out”!
Luckily enough “Hope“ won’t let us down. Said song features a lot of rap, wrapped into an awesome beat that finds its climax in heavy guitar breaks. Gus Farias’ rapidly-shouted vocals work perfectly as an addition to the clean singing. This song, as well as “Pieces” (which is another catchy tune), shows how much well-placed clean vocals can add to a heavy outfit. Far away from being cringeworthy or misplaced, the band nailed this challenge that kills songs far too often. “Left For Dead“ is truly a very heavy ending to this pop-orientated record; Volumes are blast out one break after another, working with choir accentuation and a very heavy Via-attitude.
In a nutshell
Volumes compressed twelve tracks into a duration of 35 minutes, which isn’t that much, thus creating a short, but diverting and overall exciting experience. The band keeps up their very solid work after having already released two good records in Via and No Sleep. Eventhough they kinda changed their sound on this record, they didn’t lose any of their aplomb. It is out of question how well a vocalist like Mike Terry fits into the band’s sound. Maybe that’s the reason why Volumes succeeded in both keeping true to their musical integrity (bouncy grooves, catchy songs) and expanding into a more popular and gripping dimension.
With an attitude of mish-mashing similar to Dance Gavin Dance. Different Animals ranges from r’n’b over hip hop and straight-up radio pop to djenty metalcore grooves and heavy riffing, while delivering a vocal mix of both autotuned and properly sung clean vocals, shouts and rap! Let me tell you: It doesn’t cease to amaze at all, perfectly mixing things up and delivers a truly exciting experience.
Notable Tracks: “Finite”; “On Her Mind”; “Left For Dead“
FFO: Issues, Structures, Dance Gavin Dance