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Released: Jul 15, 2014
Genre: Progressive Metal, Djent, Metalcore
Label: Mediaskare Records
Number Of Tracks: 10
A brilliant, must-listen-to sophomore album from a band that is definitely going places and deservedly so.
SS36CF87, on july 22, 2014 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Volumes came onto the scene with a massive bang in 2011. As the "djent" movement was starting to really pick up speed and everyone was giving it a go, they released "Via" to the masses and response was generally favourable. Their dual scream vocals, bouncy riffs and sporadic use of melodic vocals was a little bit different but mainly it has real emotion, it felt real.
Fast forward 3 years and "No Sleep" sort of picks up from where they left off but put the sound on a crash diet and protein supplements. A couple of the songs on "Via" sounded very similar and very filler, this is not the case with "No Sleep." Although you're only technically getting 7 new songs ("Vahle" was released as a single several months ago), Volumes seem to have responded to what their audience wants, while staying true to what made them so interesting in the first place. Every song has its own nuances and twists that makes it a standout track and while a lot of fans will be a little pissed that there aren't a few more on the record considering the wait, the quality of what is here will sate most for the time being.
You've got your pit fillers ("The Mixture," "91367" and "Pistol Play"), your melodic interludes ("Better Half" and "Piece of Mind") and more importantly 4 new songs which feature the melodic singing that was used sparingly (but effectively) on their last album, "Up All Night" and "Across the Bed" being the highlights.
The production is very crisp, almost unnervingly so. The intro to "The Mixture" sounds like well placed roundhouse kicks to the face, every breakdown sounds like it is trying to destroy your headphones from the inside out and the melodies on "Erased" and "Up All Night" ring so true you can't help but sing along, regardless of where you are. The bass gets a little lost at times, a pet-peeve of mine in most metal records, but it doesn't diminish the sound at all. // 8
Lyrics: I'm a massive advocate of relate-able lyrics; words that give you goosebumps when you hear them and make you think about them weeks after. Thankfully this is what Volumes do best. Gus Farias and Michael Barr, the latter of whom does the clean vocals when they do appear, really complement each other with their respective barks and the lyrics here are really impressive.
Even with "91367," a song based around gambling, partying and strippers, there's no metaphors, no convoluted artistic license, just straight up call-em-as-I-see-em lyrics. This seems to be a stand alone track in terms of themes as the rest of the album either deals with relationships/regret and things that piss them off.
"The Mixture" and "Neon Eyes" deal with the music industry and addiction respectively and Volumes don't pull any punches when it comes to saying what they think. "Pistol Play" could be seen as a link between the two as it deals with anger over a failed relationship and wanting revenge on the guy she's with now.
"Vahle" is a dedication to a friend of the band, James Vahle, who died in an accident and this is a really striking memorial song. The lyrics deal with coping with the loss and regret over what happened.
"Erased," "Across the Bed" and "Up All Night" all deal with relationships, good and bad and how they can be the best and worst part of you. "Up All Night" is the best song on the album for me, the first verse and chorus in particular is about as good as it gets for open and honest lyrics. // 9
Overall Impression: Expectations were high for Volumes to build on what they had done with "Via" and, despite the short run time, they've definitely upped their game. Every song here has been painstakingly crafted to be as honest and in-your-face as possible and I think they've absolutely nailed it.
Personal highlights include "Up All Night," "Across the Bed," "Vahle" and "The Mixture" but honestly that's just for the purposes of picking a top four, there isn't a bad track on this album. Even the interludes meld perfectly with the following track and set the tone for what's coming next.
My only complaint, and it is a selfish one, is the shortness of the album. Even one more song would be enough, but unfortunately it is over far far too quickly. "Via" had a few songs that broke the 5min mark and more over 4mins. Only two songs here come close to that ("Vahle" and "Up All Night") and you're also dealing with 2 interludes within 10 tracks.
Overall, a brilliant, must-listen-to sophomore album from a band that is definitely going places and deservedly so. // 8