On their debut album Via, Volumes have crafted something expected, with very little in the surprise department. That’s not to say it’s a bad album; it’s really not. Breakdowns, aggressive, manly screams, and solid lyrics make up most of the fifty-minute runtime, and that’s fine with me. There is an experimental tone in a few of the songs, so it’s no surprise that these are the best songs on the album. From start to finish, however, Volumes never let up on the intensity, while never forsaking their inherent melodic undertones.
Opener “Paid in Full” is spectacular, and a true Volumes lesson in brutality. It contains a rather jazzy musical opening before Michael Barr and Gus Farias completely dominate with their powerful screams. “Serenity” features a powerful guitar solo performed by Scale the Summit’s often acclaimed Chris Letchford. This mixed with the wonderful display of musicianship throughout makes “Serenity” one of the better tracks on the album. “The Columbian Faction” utilizes a very impressive display of clean vocals that really add to the effectiveness of the song.
Volumes are truly at their best with “Edge of the Earth,” Via’s truly greatest offering. The band again incorporates clean vocals here, and it’s a truly wonderful experience. The lyrics are also very impressive, with lines like “I’m here tonight, underneath the influence/And why can’t I find a way out?/It’s calling me tonight/This secret I have become, at the edge of the earth.” “Edge of the Earth” is easily Volumes’ best song thus far. Title track “Via” is an appropriate closer, with a surreal display of pure noise throughout the last minute-and-a-half.
Overall, Via is hardly a work of art. What it is, though, is a pure, no-nonsense metal offering for fans that like, well, pure, no-nonsense metal. In the end, this is all that matters. Volumes have produced an album that will not let their still-rising fan base down, me included. In this industry, filled with bands that continue to change their sound to fit with the “masses,” that’s really all you can ask for.