Volumes Happier? Review: Track-By-Track Breakdown

Get a picture because Volumes are right back at it again. “Happier?” is the band’s first album in four years, so the pressure was on with this one. Adding to this pressure was a major line-up change. The band continued on without their long-time vocalist Gus Farias, but fortunately the band recruited fan-favorite former vocalist Michael Barr. With Michael now splitting vocal duties with Myke Terry, fans were excited to hear this new version of the band. This wasn’t the only change the band experienced however, as long-time Guitarist Diego Farias also left the band. Diego unfortunately passed away shortly after – rest in peace – so the Volumes camp have been through a lot the last few years.

What does all of this mean for the sound of the band though? Does the band manage to surpass expectations and rise above these changes and challenges? I will discuss if the new version of Volumes is one for the books in the current review. So let’s jump on in and break it down in this Volumes Happier? track-by-track album review.

FFO: Periphery, Veil Of Maya, Sleep Token, Issues, Spiritbox

Listen to: Bend, Weighted, Man On Fire, FBX, Into You (Hurt)

Volumes is:

Myke Terry – vocals

Michael Barr – vocals

Raad Soudani – bass guitar, programming

Nick Ursich – drums

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Happier? Track-By-Track Review

FBX

FBX – Volumes

Were you worried that Volumes was going soft on us? Well the band squash these fears right out the gate with “FBX”. This groovy and heavy introduction track kicks off “Happier?” in a way I personally never expected. I predicted that there would be plenty of heavy non-singles, but I can’t say I anticipated the album beginning with some major headbanging fuel. There is something irresistible about the riff main riff in this track. It is impossible not to move or groove throughout the song. It hits exactly how a heavy Volumes track should. I don’t think anything from the band’s previous record – “Different Animals” – hit quite like this.

The Volumes Groove Is Back

The instrumentals aren’t the only thing like hits just right in “FBX”. The vocals sound nasty (in a good way) and it adds that much more emotion to the track. This isn’t one of those boring heavy tracks a band just throws out there. This track is an instant highlight from the album, and I find myself revisiting it quite often. One of the vocalist scream out “what have a done to you this time?” with a powerful delivery that is sure to give the listener stank face. I think the line is delivered by Myke Terry, but it is sometimes difficult to differential between the harsh vocalist throughout the record. This isn’t a downside though, it actually highlights how well Michael Barr and Myke Terry work together as co-vocalists. The Volumes chemistry has never been better, and I am all here for this lineup.

“Happier” is off to a great start, but this is only one flavor of what the album has to offer. “FBX” isn’t even the heaviest track on the record, and some of the record’s best material doesn’t even have to go this hard. So where does the album go next? Well it ends up the band aren’t slowing down yet.

Malevolent

Malevolent – Volumes

Volumes keep the heavy vibes going with “Malevolent”. This is another track with no singing at all in it. One would think that two purely heavy tracks in a row would feel redundant at times, but that is far from the truth here. The current track and “FBX” function differently entirely. While the former track is slower and each strum of the guitar is a reward on its own, the current track has much quicker instrumentation. There is an immediately noticeable difference between the two tracks that didn’t take me more than a single listen to realize. I find that this difference between the two tracks allow them to run back-to-back in a satisfying way.

Back to “Malevolent” itself though. The groove is much quicker throughout this track, and the riff is fast paced. I also find that the screams sound a lot more pained in this track. After the brutally screamed chorus, a rolling breakdown hits hard and keeps pounding until the verse. This is a satisfying delivery in a satisfyingly heavy track. This is such an onslaught of heaviness that even when it seems like it’s over, the riff kicks back and runs till the end. Volumes aren’t playing around with the beginning of “Happier?”, and by now I am positive any listener could use a break from the headbanging. Fortunately the band are one of many talents, and they switch it up entirely with the next track.

Bend

Bend – Volumes

The “Finite” of the album, “Bend” is the soundtrack to a blockbuster movie. Seriously, the chorus in this track is huge! This track switches things up from the last two, as it isn’t heavy at all. This is easily the softest song on the album, yet it doesn’t feel like it is. The song is calming and beautiful, but the chorus hits so hard that the overall track feels energetic and loud.

If listening to the record in order, this is also our first taste of Michael and Myke singing together. Right off the bat Volumes displays a beautiful example of what the duo sound like together outside of the heavy setting. I must say, I enjoy this version of the band over the rap/singing duo from the last record. Utilizing these two different, but complementing voices adds a dynamic to the track that makes it sound special. Michael’s calm and higher voice only makes Myke’s high delivery in the chorus sound even bigger. I think the band have really found their stride here.

Volumes Soar With Bend

The vocals on “Bend” aren’t the only highlight of the track of course. It wouldn’t be a Volumes track without some solid instrumentation. The bassline is solid in this track – especially during the second verse – and it adds something to this track that you couldn’t (and wouldn’t) get from an other artist. Chugs of the guitar occasionally sound like a mini-breakdown during this calm verse and it adds some flavor to the track. These instrumental additions scream “Volumes”, and I love it.

While the star of the track is definitely that huge chorus, there is a lot to love about “Bend”, and I find it to be a huge album highlight. The fact that some of my favorite tracks “Happier?” are some of the heaviest and some of the softest shows how well the band deliver both of these styles. Only three tracks into the album and Volumes have already proved that they are nailing everything they attempt.

Get Enough

Get Enough – Volumes

I will admit that this one had to grow on me quite a bit. During my initial reaction to the album, I didn’t care for this track too much. It might still be one of my least favorites from the album, but I have learned to enjoy it over time. I think the only gripe I have with the track is that “Bend” is such a great track that is swallows this one a bit. However, not every track can be the lead single, so I have learned to accept “Get Enough” for the track it is, and not the track it isn’t.

Perfectly Balanced, As All Things Should Be

This biggest strength of this track has to be that it is the first balanced song on the record. “Get Enough” features plenty of ferocious screams and calm singing all in one track. Previously the heavy tracks were purely heavy and the softer track was fully sang, so this is a welcome change of pace. Personally I find that the swapping vocals between Myke and Michael to be the best part of the track. The song benefits from having two talent vocalists on the track.

The song also has a breakdown that kicks up the energy a bit. In typical Volumes fashion, the breakdown is groovy and I am confident that many fans will enjoy it. With that said, I do believe there are better breakdowns on the record. “Get Enough” is a fine track – and it has a lot going on – but I find that the song isn’t the best at anything the band is known for. Fortunately, there are still plenty of great songs on the album.

Lets Me Down

Lets Me Down – Volumes

“Lets Me Down” immediately kicks off with some melodic – yet heavy – grooves that rip for nearly 30 seconds. This is a great preview of the type of track this is. The song is catchy, soulful, emotional, yet with that “Volumes” groove we all know and love. “Lets Me Down” is one of those tracks that allow every member in the band to flex their talents. The whole band shines here, as with a single component missing the song would suffer. The vocals sound great and the instrumentals elevate them even further and set the tone and feel of the track.

If you thought “Lets Me Down” was a softer track, you are mistaken. After a vibey ambiance section, the song pops back off with a wild breakdown. I particularly enjoy this breakdown because while the vocals and instrumentation are intense, the backing ambiance still keeps the tone and mood going from earlier in the track. This breakdown is punishing and emotional at the same time. Volumes really hit a rare cord here and I am all for it. I would consider this track a standout if it wasn’t for the high quantity of high quality tracks found on “Happier?”. Speaking of which, the next track is a banger so get amped!

Man On Fire

Man On Fire – Volumes

If you thought Volumes got all the heavy tracks out of the way at the beginning of the album, you were wrong. I honestly did think this was a possibility, but after three vibey tracks the band decided to throw some tension and anger back into the mix. Would we even want it any other way? Of course not. “Man On Fire” is easily the most aggressive Volumes track in a long time, and I am here for it.

Volumes Bring The Heavy Back Full-Throttle

“Man On Fire” immediately starts with an urgent and discomforting riff that sets the mood for the track. This mood is really fitting for the track that tackles the themes of racism and violence. The vocals on the track sound angrier than ever and it fits. The song obviously must mean a lot to the band, especially vocalist Myke Terry, who has lived through the dark themes the song explores. Myke screams out “why do you hate me for the color of my skin?” in an aggressive and hurt voice. Volumes have plenty of heavy tracks, but this one hits extra hard.

Thankfully Volumes are using their platform and outlet to deliver a powerful message such as the one contained within “Man On Fire”. It is great seeing “Happier?” tackle so many different styles and themes all while fitting under a similar umbrella of sound. If you dug the heavy sound of this track, you’re in luck! The band keep the energy coming with the next track.

Weighted

Weighted – Volumes

“Weighted” is the oldest song on the record, but fortunately for listeners it aged like a fine wine. The track was originally my favorite single out of any released after Michael Barr rejoined the band. Former singles “Holy Water” and “Pixelate” didn’t make it onto the “Happier?” tracklist, but that is just fine. Their exclusion only led to more new tracks making the cut, and I find that the current track fits the theme of the record best anyways.

A Great First Single That Represents The Record

There is a lot to love about “Weighted”. I find it to be one of the most balanced tracks on the record. Volumes blend heavy and melodic vibes perfectly here. One minute I am calm and relaxed, and next minute I wish I was at a show and in the middle of the moshpit. The track is groovy, catchy, and has a flow to it that is absolutely contagious. This song is the precursor for the entire record. The “Happier?” sound is made evident through this track, and I think the song represents the album very well.

Did I say that “Weighted” has it all? I meant it. The whole last minute and 20 seconds of the track is an all-out groove session. The relentless groove hits hard and stays as long as it pleases. One would think that this breakdown over stays its welcome, but it doesn’t! Even after this long groove runs its course, I am still left wanting more. That is just how fun and free this ending is. I think Volumes hit their stride here and just went for it. I can’t imagine any fan not absolutely digging this ending. If I had to show someone a song that describes the whole band, it would be this track. “Weighted” is Volumes at their most pure and most free. Every aspect of the band shines through perfectly.

See You Again

See You Again – Volumes

“See You Again” is such an interesting track because it almost entirely consists of screamed vocals, yet it sounds more vibey like their softer material. The band mix brutal vocals with mystical sounding riffs that convey an entirely different tone from what is being said (screamed). The vocal pattern is catchy as well and the lyrics are melancholic, yet hopeful. The sound is quite romantic really. My description may sound confusing, but that’s exactly what I get from the track. Volumes experimented quite heavily here, and I am all for it. I really enjoy this track, and I think the unique aspects of the song will keep me coming back to it.

The heavy vocals remind me of the older Volumes material, while the instrumentals fit in perfectly with the rest of the “Happier?” sound. “See You Again” may just be the perfect mix of old Volumes and the new rendition of the band. I am confident that the track will please the lovers of the heavy side of the band, and the soulful side of the band, all which introducing elements from each side.

Into You (Hurt)

Into You (Hurt) – Volumes

This track is reminiscent of the better material found on the band’s last album “Different Animals”. Songs like “Pulling Shades”, “Waves Control”, and “Finite” were great tracks that could be found on the controversial album. The strength of the album lied in Myke Terry’s Fantastic vocals, and these sounds showcased it well. The best part about “Into Your (Hurt)” is that it takes the best parts of the sound on “Different Animals” but kicks it up in every way. The song is heavier than almost anything found on that record, and the groove is back.

Volumes have learned a lot since their last record, and I think “Into You (Hurt)” is the best example of this. The song is really dynamic with a grungy opening and post-breakdown, an addictive and soulful chorus, and an absolutely devastating breakdown. I consider this song a album standout, and it is unfortunately that the song isn’t getting the attention it deserves. It is a testament to the quality found on “Happier?” when even the lowkey tracks sound this good. I think there is a little something for any listener in this song, and I think Volumes are at their best when their many sounds collide.

Void

Void – Volumes

Void is quickly becoming a new fan-favorite song from Volumes. It is no mystery why fans have gathered towards this track. The intro to the track is heavy and eerie, and fans know exactly what comes next after a harsh introduction like this. The verses are heavy and harsh – in the best way possible of course – and the instrumentals are groovy and headbang worthy. The real strengths of Void lie in how consistent of a track it is. Even the chorus is fantastic, and I am a huge sucker for heavy tracks with a chorus that nails the energy and supplements the track as a whole.

The breakdown of Void is bound to be a fan-favorite, and hopefully Volumes keep this track on their live setlist. I can easily imagine a room full of fans having an absolute blast to this track in a live setting. This track may have a typical formula that the metalcore scene is used to, but Volumes hit it out of the park with this one. Sometimes it isn’t about reinventing the wheel, it is about perfecting it, and the band definitely have this sound down to a science.

Happier?

Happier? – Volumes

What a journey “Happier?” has been. The album concludes in a perfect way that sums up the entire record. The title track is such an appropriate closer, that I actually didn’t care for it as a single too much. I speculated upon release that it would work much better as a true ending of the record, and I was right about that. Volumes took the overall sound and tone of the record and wrote a closing track that really sounds like the album is coming to an end. “Happier?” is nearly the complete opposite of the crushing opener “FBX”. Outside of a groovy – and overall great – breakdown in the middle of the song, this closing track is emotional, soulful, and somber. The vibes from tracks like “Bend” and “Into You (Hurt)” take the forefront here, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

All of the emotional that has built up throughout the record appropriate led us to this track, and I find that the pay off is fantastic. I am a huge fan of cohesive records that are worthy of full listens, and Volumes delivered a satisfying record that I nearly exclusively listen to from front-to-back. Let’s collect ourselves and move on passed this emotional closing track and move on to some final thoughts on the record.

Closing Thoughts

“Happier?” is full of all the groove, vibes, and breakdowns fans of Volumes have come to know and love the band for. I would go as far to say that this version of the band is the best version to date. While my heart is heavy in regards to the loss of Diego, and the band can’t truly feel complete without him, I have no doubts that he would be proud of the modern rendition of the band.

The duo of Myke Terry and Michael Barr leads to some of the best vocals Volumes has ever had in their career, and the instrumentation and song writing throws it back to the early days of the band while gaining an increase quality in the song writing department. “Happier?” takes everything there is to love about the band and kicks it up to 10. I have no doubt this is now my favorite Volumes record, and one of the best albums of 2021.

Final Verdict: 9/10

Metal Shell Reacts To Volumes | Happier?

Want to see what I thought about “Happier?” in real-time? Please check out the video below to see how this album blew me away!

Metal Shell Reacts to Volumes | Happier? Full Album

Need More Djent In Your Life?

Need more metalcore in your life? I recommend you check out my Sleep Token This Place Will Become Your Tomb Track-By-Track album review. Sleep Token also released a djenty progressive metal masterpiece in 2021, and the album is one of my favorite records of 2021. In the article, I breakdown each and every track from the band’s beautiful new record in-depth. So check that out down below if you’re interested!

If you need more progressive metal goodness, additionally I recommend you check out my Spiritbox Eternal Blue track-by-track review. In the article, I breakdown every track from the band’s incredibly hyped up and critically acclaimed debut record in-depth. So check that out down below if you’re interested!

Looking for more music like Volumes? Look no further than our official modern metal playlist. The Spotify playlist features several of the latest tracks by the band, as well as other highly recommended modern bangers! Check it out down below and be sure to follow the playlist if you like what you hear. I update it weekly, so you won’t miss a thing!

What did you think of my Volumes Happier? review? Did you enjoy the new album? Please share your thoughts down in the comments.