With the departure of Michael Barr and the introduction of vocalist Myke Terry, Volumes’ upcoming release has been on the radar for metalcore fans for quite some time. When a band goes through major lineup changes, fans often worry that they won’t stay true to the sound that they know and love. Safe to say, this isn’t the case with Different Animals.
From the start, the album immediately dives into what fans would consider Volumes’ traditional sound with “Waves Control.” That self-identifying djent ‘bounce’ that their music typically possesses is present here. Heavy at times, and multi-layered at others, it’s a perfect, groove-filled song to ease fans into the newer material.
Tracks like “Finite” and “Feels Good” let those traditional patterns sink into the background to shine light on the clean vocal elements. This attention to cleaner vocals allows for some easier listening and a better understanding of their conceptually strong lyrics. With “On Her Mind” and “Pullin’ Shades,” Volumes allows those vocals interact with some of the heavier elements that Different Animals embodies, and having that dialogue between the two contrasts opens up a door for the band to focus more on mood and conceptual-based songwriting.
The album shows the most success and ingenuity with the track “Hope.” Partnered with their aggressive yet pattern-based instrumentals, Volumes incorporates melodic clean vocals that are referential to hip-hop in many ways. Surrounded by the two instrumental tracks of the album, “Interlude” and “Tides Change,” this song calls for attention. As a listener, I find myself consciously paying attention to each detail in the search for emotions, and “Hope” satisfies that by proving that metal doesn’t have to be full of rage. Sometimes, it can actually be a beautiful journey.
The most surprising aspect of the record, and what makes it so unique, is how orchestrated it feels. The inclusion of the more terrestrial or symphonic electronic fills and intros/outros gives the listener an experience rather than just song after song.
To say that Different Animals is a typical metal album would be a major understatement. Ultimately, it provides moments where you can sink into the sound, and others where you feel like you are breaking the surface of the water. This is something new that the band hasn’t explored until now, and it shows how much Volumes has worked towards redefining metal in both vocal and subtle ways. Different Animals is a reminder of how complex and boundary-pushing metal genres can be, and the band pulls it off in their best possible way yet.
REVIEW BY JAKE LAHAH