Californian metalcore band, Volumes is back with their third full-length offering entitled “Different Animals”, which is set for release on the 9th of June!

‘Different’ is a word that can be used to describe a few aspects of Volumes right now, as they’re with a new label (Fearless Records) and they gained a new vocalist last year. So aside from that, what’s new? Another evolution of the band’s overall sound, for sure, as fans of the band will have noticed with the singles already released from the album. So let’s get into what this animal is all about.

The album opens up with Waves Control, a heavy djent-filled track where Gus and Myke go back-and-forward trading blows vocally. This track also marks another difference for the band with it being the first time an opening song for any of their releases to date has featured a chorus and clean vocals. Next up is Finite, a much more melodic track in comparison. It is definitely a song where Myke shines with taking on lead vocals for the majority. While being a very melodic track for Volumes (not their most melodic song to date, though), it features its fair share of breakdowns and some very Korn sounding verses.

By now, we’ve all heard the also semi-predominantly melodic Feels Good, which is track number three. This is followed by Disaster Vehicle, a return to the band’s heavier prog/djent sound. This is essentially a Gus track as he takes up probably 75% of the vocal duties here. While definitely being a heavier track, Disaster Vehicle does provide its moments of instrumental melodies which make this song fit perfectly within “Different Animals”, an album that is shaping up to be a – only very slightly – mellowed out version of Volumes’ sound.

Track five is entitled Pieces, a song with more of a formula to it than a lot of Volumes’ songs to date. It’s consistent when it comes to choruses where Myke’s clean vocals really shine through and show just how great of an addition he is to the band. Track six slows things down more so than anything else as-of-yet on the album. It features not much more than a piano and Myke’s clean vocals and lasts only 56 seconds, but honestly, it feels right in place despite being nothing like the rest of the album. Hope is next and is another very different sounding track for at least the verses where it feels like somebody chucked in parts of their hip-hop mixtape. Chorus-wise and everything else, it’s melodic Volumes at its finest. Slower and softer certainly isn’t a bad thing though those who are predominantly The Concept of Dreaming and VIA fans may need time to adjust.

Tides Change took this writer by surprise with the use of an acoustic guitar. In the end, this one is an interlude again which is nothing new really when it comes to Volumes seeing as “No Sleep” (2014) had two. Track nine is On Her Mind which was released as the album’s second single back in February with rapper Pouya. This is followed by Heavy Silence, a track that opens soft and gives off a feel like it’d be a rock radio hit track. The big stand out was that in the verses Myke sounds very much like Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park).

So where else can this album go? Heavy as hell?! Not yet. Track number eleven entitled Pullin’ Shades is another melodic one where Myke takes the lead most of the way. Look, if you were expecting 2010/2011 Volumes then this album is most likely not going to satisfy you entirely. There are those heavier moments like what I found in Waves Control and Disaster Vehicle, but really, to put a ratio to it, I’d say you’ll get about 35% heavy vs 65% melody. Not a bad thing! Just not what early fans will be looking.

Last song! Left For Dead is on the shorter side but I think was placed where it was to kind of even out the end of the album seeing as the last two tracks were on the softer side.

So what is “Different Animals” all about? It really displays that element of difference. It’s changed. Not bad change by any means, even if you’re one to favour Volumes’ heavier side. Altogether “Different Animals” is a very strong and diverse album that showcases what Volumes’ are capable of, pulling off an array of surprises.