Back in 2010, Volumes quickly burst onto the metalcore scene with their EP The Concept of Dreaming, and have stayed a powerhouse within the genre ever since. With the return of their old vocalist Michael Barr, the band are back with a vengeance with their latest release Happier? and a level of heaviness they’ve wanted to add back into their sound for a long time.
Opening the album is FBX, a chuggy, jumpy electronic heavy track that just throws a riff in your face and makes it stick, as well as the usual Metalcore riff formula that creates a catchy start for the release. Malevolent adds in an element of Djent to the instrumentals as well as a pretty funky bass solo that kept the groove up. Bend brings in a wide range of elements from current trends in metalcore, with a slightly monotone, emotional clean vocal delivery over chuggy simplistic riffs.
As we move through the album, Lets Me Down is aptly titled as it just copies the formula of any Architect song of the last 5 years with elements of Erra thrown in, luckily my personal favourite track Man on Fire is up next and features a dissonance heavy main riff, the best vocals on the album as well as a nasty groove that just makes me want to jump into a pit. The second to last track Void is another standout, with its short run time and simple yet catchy riff, even if it does just sound like any track released by Of Mice & Men off their last few EPs. Closing the album is the title track Happier, which is simply a throwback to the days of the 2010’s Metalcore scene, and is definitely held up by the nostalgia factor for me.
Happier? Is a solid, safe release that despite showing growth within the band as musicians just don’t do enough to stand out within an ever growingly oversaturated genre. Despite the album not having any low points, it also doesn’t reach any insane highs that I feel will pull me back in within the near future. If you’re a fan of Volumes you’ll enjoy the album and it’s a safe entry into the band for anyone curious, I just wish it took a couple of risks instead of sticking to the current trends of the genre.
Review: Daniel Stapleton
VOLUMES NEW ALBUM HAPPIER?
DROPS 19TH NOVEMBER VIA FEARLESS RECORDS