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April 2020

Parkway Drive have staked their claim for heavy metal ascendancy

Parkway Drive have staked their claim for heavy metal ascendancy
Published: 10:11 pm, May 03, 2018

Kaleidoscopic riffs with heartstring-tugging hooks.

Label: Epitaph
Released: 4th May 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

If 2015’s ‘Ire’ was the crack in the ice, then Australia’s heavy metal flagbearers Parkway Drive’s sixth album, ‘Reverence’ is the floodgates opening and drowning everything in sight, their newfound ability to write arena metal anthems dialled up a dozen.

Parkway Drive have ridden a wave of meteoric proportions over the last decade, shedding their breakdown bruising metalcore-stomp for a more accessible all-round metal pomp. Following a path tread by many and survived by few, Parkway sowed the seeds of their vision within the hook-heavy jams of Ire, and much like Avenged Sevenfold did between Nightmare and Hail To The King, Parkway have dug deep inside the depths of their inner darkness to bring out their true vision.

‘Reverence’ picks up from as much as it rips up the blueprint laid out on ‘Ire’, stripping back the metalcore crunch they kept in from their past material in favour for a gleaming sheen that slides through the fabric of the riffs of each and every song on ‘Reverence.’ This is the most accessible record Parkway Drive have ever made albeit one of the heaviest they’ve ever made, only the heaviness is found within vocalist Winston McCall’s scathing vocal performance that desolates through the channelling of his inner turmoil. Opener ‘Wishing Wells’ is a blistering blur of clean and harsh vocals swimming in a sea of chaos, machine gun drums collide with swirling riffs that rattle your mind, Winston’s vocal attack exploding inside your eardrums.

Parkway Drive emulate their idols, infusing mammoth grooves and kaleidoscopic riffs with heartstring-tugging hooks that are as anthemic clean as they are harsh, from the Metallica-stolen stomp of ‘The Void’ to the new wave of nu-metal via Slipknot punch of ‘Shadow Boxing’ to the power-meets-prog of six-minute slinger ‘Chronos’ to the tear-jerking jangle of solitude on closer ‘The Colour Of Leaving.’

Much like Avenged Sevenfold and Architects before them, Parkway Drive have staked their claim for heavy metal ascendancy, and if the cycle for ‘Reverence’ doesn’t end with festival headline slots and arena tours, then there’s something very wrong with this world. Jack Press


© 2018 The Bunker Publishing