Review Summary: Volumes take a rehashed formula and refuse to improve, but release a solid album nonetheless.
Volumes are the up-and-comers of the progressive / djent / whatever-you-want-to-call-it era of music. Featuring two solid vocalists, and more than competent musicians, they certainly have the potential to be great. With the release of the heralded "The Concept of Dreaming", Volumes took a big step forward to make their mark on the scene. It's only natural that fans expected their debut album "Via" to be nothing short of fantastic. However, Volumes apparently had other plans when it came to expectations.
"Via" isn't bad in the least bit, but it's not exceptional. You'll find the standard strengths and flaws (as to be expected with most debut albums). What has most notably improved is the production of the album. Every instrument is clear and crisp, and listeners will find themselves immersed in the instrumentals of the album. Vocalists Michael Barr and Gus Farias have also greatly improved - featuring more "understandable" lyrics and a solid display of their skills. You'll even find some cleans to be found throughout the album, which is quite a change. They both have very different vocal styles, and it only adds to the experience of "Via".
Diego Farias and Daniel Braunstein try their best to create a progressive feel on the album. Using (sometimes), extensive polyrhythms and space-like melodies, they do indulge the listener occasionally to a trance. A prime example is "Edge of The Earth", one of the highlight songs on the album. But you won't find anything spectacular on the album instrumentally. Some songs do seem rehashed or repetitive, hinting that maybe there were some creativity issues within the band.
Lyrically, Volumes have improved. No longer sporting what seemed to be teenage drama lyrics, you'll find more songs about the trials and tribulations of life, and finding yourself. Again it's nothing out of the ordinary, but an improvement nonetheless.
Two tracks are redone from "The Concept of Dreaming", Wormholes and Intake. You won't find many changes in the songs, just better production quality. However this is a good thing, as these two songs were the highlight of their EP.
"Via" is a give-and-take album. You'll find many highlights, but also some parts that just seemed reused from previous material, which is never a good thing for a band, especially when it comes to progressive music. Fans of the band will be slightly disappointed, but it's still a good album, and Volumes can only improve upon their mistakes.
Behind The Curtain
Edge of The Earth