Anticipation has been mounting for the new Volumes album for quite some time now. Coming off the initial success of their EP "The Concept of Dreaming" and growing into their full potential with the debut full-length "VIA", they've been moving crowds and crushing eardrums since the turn of the decade.
After many sleepless nights, the moment many of you have been dreaming of has finally arrived! The sophomore album from Volumes, "No Sleep", will be hitting stores shelves in less than 24 hours. In fact, copies of the album have been up for sale through the duration of this year's Warped Tour. That being said, there's a good chance some of you have already listened and vice versa. Either way, keep on reading for another installment of everyone's favorite / least favorite "d" word – djent.
I suppose a part of the novelty with this band is that you, more or less, know exactly what you're going to get. In other words, it's safe to expect bouncy Meshuggah-esque grooves throughout, aggressive vocals and tasteful melody to boot. To put it simply, this band is fun.
What makes this album stand apart from the band's previous releases is that the melodic approach was turned up to notch 11 in some spots, making it generally more accessible. The production also adds more polish this time around. But the overall heaviness certainly still prevails.
The whole album flows exceptionally well as songs are grouped amongst their peers. Great example being "Erased", "Better Half", and "Across The Bed" which could practically function as a single song. The songs themselves range from a down and dirty, heavy approach to the aforementioned melodic take on the music. "The Mixture", "91367", "Pistol Play", and "Neon Eyes" are the kind of songs that are guaranteed to open mosh pits while "Erased", "Vahle", "Across The Bed", and "Up All Night" will strike up sing-alongs (in the middle of said mosh pits).
On "VIA", only "The Columbian Faction" and "Edge of the Earth" boasted clean vocals. On "No Sleep", however, a total of 4 tracks (all of which were just mentioned) feature prominent clean hooks. These are the kind of choruses that will get stuck in your head, almost verging on pop music in some regards. The band features two vocalists, Michael Barr and Gus Farias, both of which are known for their harsh contributions to the Volumes sound. But it's actually Michael Barr who takes up the clean vocals this time around. Before this, the band brought on guest vocalists for live performances and (correct me if I'm wrong) implemented the voice of ex-drummer Chris Khoury on record. Barr's singing is certainly pitch corrected, but it settles surprisingly well in the ear canals.
There really aren't too many downsides to "No Sleep". Though to be perfectly honest, "VIA" and "The Concept of Dreaming" were much more impressive for the time they came out. While I generally enjoy the dj0nt, Volumes and a few others have found themselves leading a small army of djent bands which are heavily diluting the sound (many of which have names like Pluralizations and Regurgitations if you catch my drift). Point being, the style is feeling played out. But it certainly still has it's gems with legions of fans to support.
To sum things up, "No Sleep" is a good, functional album from Volumes. Some of you will like it. Better yet, I guarantee some of you will love it. But the bottom line is that this album is fun and filled with earworms. If this sounds like a good time to you, be sure to check the two tracks above and prepare yourselves for the official release!