California groove metal band Volumes polarized metal fans with their hard-hitting, yet somewhat repetitive The Concept of Dreaming EP. On the “two thumbs up” side of things, they seemed to embrace their limited range, producing a no-nonsense twenty-seven minute kick-ass journey for headbangers everywhere, yet there were many who found their particular brand of metal to be tasteless, insipid rehashings of what former bands had done better. I found myself somewhere in the middle, leaning more toward the former point of view. Regardless, Volumes are here to stay, expanding their fan base rapidly with every passing day.
The guys are set to release their debut LP Via September 27, and with the recent release of “Affirmation of Ascension,” it’s hard to not be excited. Earlier this year, the band threw a curveball with the release of the pre-produced “The Columbian Faction,” incorporating clean vocals into their sound, an odd yet surprisingly welcome change, but with “Affirmation of Ascension,” Volumes returns to the more familiar sound found on their aforementioned EP. Fortunately and unfortunately, this makes for a fairly basic listening experience.
The contrasting duel vocal attack from Michael Barr and Gus Farias is easily one of the best things about Volumes, however the rest of the band really shines through here, especially in the face-melting breakdown. Is it basically the same stuff other run-of-the-mill metal bands are releasing? Absolutely. Yet, Volumes deliver the goods with such precision and style (the melodic guitars throughout make for an impressive ambient sound) that a lot of other bands can’t touch. Essentially, this is as unoriginal as music gets, but it’s unoriginality done right.
Listen to “Affirmation of Ascension” below and pre-order Via here.