Sound — 9
Volumes, typical for their "Djent" guitar riffs and dual vocals have once-again created a song that is both brutally heavy but soft around the edges. "Vahle" is a song dedicated to the bands close-friend James Vahle who died in a car accident. Even though the song has a personal & delicate subject matter, the band have still managed to put across their anger as well as sadness. They still use their traits such as low end bends, syncopates palm-muting and underlying delay-riddled, slow bending licks but have also managed to encapsulate a "softer" side during the chorus with "...Staring at the floor, staring at the phone." The song also takes good use of synth elements in both a heavy and soft fashion, from slow mimicking chord progressions underneath the chorus to when Barr scream "...Left it in the drive-way." The track, upon first impressions, sounds like a well-balanced mix of a few songs off of "Via." "Intake" meets "Wormholes." The best of both worlds in this one!
Lyrics — 10
As previously mentioned, the song talks about the death of the bands close friends, James Vahle. The two different musical styles within this tracks match the lyrics well. Heavier moments when the lyrics are darker and more macabre (heavy screaming) and softer palm-muted chord progressions when the lyrics are softer (Barr's singing). There's a lot of depth within this song. I particularly love the use of the dissonance chords on lines such as "Now you're buried underneath" and for when he says "James Vahle" but also for when he sings "Staring at the floor... Staring at the phone." These changes within the song that make it a great track. Fans of "Via" don't worry... The screams are still as insane and guaranteed to make you want to punch a small child.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this song is a killer. Contains the heavy stuff you know and love from Volumes but along with a more, sophisticated way of processing it. It reminds me a lot of "Intake" and maybe even "Vows" by Heart In Hand. Either way its still a sick track. There is a specific section I like within the song where they've recorded, almost like a phone call.. I'm going to assume between James and the band members.. I'm guessing because of the "staring at the phone" lyric. Also where he screams "Why the f--k couldn't you have left it in the driveway?", I love how there's not BS within the song, trying to find pretty lyrics to replace what he really wants to say.. He just says it, but it fits so well. Pretty stoked for the 2014 release of the album. If this track is anything to go by, then it's going to be beast.