Release Date: November 19, 2021
Genre: Progressive Metalcore, Post-Hardcore
Label: Fearless Records
VOLUMES -a progressive metalcore band based out of Los Angeles, California- will release their anticipated fourth studio record, Happier? on November 19th with Fearless Records. I found the band from their last record, Different Animals, out in 2017, as they are trying to one-up that record cycle. With Happier? they went with producer Daniel Braunstein, who has produced notable acts such as Spiritbox, Dayseeker, Silent Planet, and a few more metalcore bands in the industry. Happier? to me is a direction I can see the band going a lot more into in the future, but will their old fans enjoy this new style?
The album starts with "FBX," with a decent start to the record. Very much of a hardcore track with screams, as well as dirty guitar riffs that you can notice right off the bat for this new sound. "Malevolent" follows up with another great track with hardcore screams with a few groovy guitar riffs at the end that's very enjoyable for a track like this.
"Bend" is the first track off the record with some clean vocals -something I always loved from this band. Personally, this track instrumentally felt like something you can hear off of something on We Came as Romans' last album, Cold Like War. Its catchiness is what sucks you into the song, a great track. "Get Enough" has some killer screams with, of course, the cleans to balance it out. But I did tend to notice a repetitive chorus right off the bat with even repetitive guitar riffs that I don't typically notice in songs. But this one just really stuck out with both. It's a song I probably won't listen to too often, but once in a while, I'll check it out. Both "Lets Me Down" and "Man On Fire," I feel to say the same for the two tracks. They have a good balance between the cleans and screams mixed with killer guitar riffs. I did tend to notice more bass in these tracks, and I loved that. "Weighted" changed up the album as the band's two vocalists Myke and Michael, go with a softer tone on the song. But it was cool to listen to with some hard guitar riffs and hard screams on such a soft-sounding track. It was neat. "See You Again" is another chunky song with great guitar riffs, a great instrumental, and screams, enough said. "Into You (Hurt)" had a catchy chorus with some catchy guitar riffs, punchy drums, and some dirty screams that I loved. It's a great track and a kind of weird breakdown if you consider it to be one, but does follow up with that good catchy chorus at the end. "Void" was a short but great track that kept the theme of the album. Ending off the record with the title track "Happier?" as it goes through a lot of different stages. It gets quite into the hard style but ends off with a beautiful clean finish. It's a pretty long track for the average listener. Nonetheless, I feel like it's a great track for ending off this record. VOLUMES put together another great piece with Happier?. It's for sure heavier than Different Animals and has some great tracks. My only concern is will fans from the past enjoy the direction the band went with on Happier? and will they follow suit with the record and possibly continue with the new sound they are taking in. As for myself, I liked it. I wish they still had some more of their softer tracks on the album, but nonetheless, it's a great piece of art they have for this cycle.