By Phil Ashdown
Building on the success and praise for 2015’s Ire album Byron Bay’s Parkway Drive broaden their horizons in style, surely setting them up to fill arenas around the globe in the months and years to come.
Starting with a gloomy spoken-word intro, opener Wishing Wells comes alive with a huge riff and frontman Winston McCall takes over with his guttural roar of “Until I’m Done”. His vocal range throughout this album is astonishing and will help raise his profile as one of Metal’s best. Before the song reaches its climax he declares he’s “Killing Gods”, indeed Zeus himself should be afraid, very afraid! The rest of the band are no slouches either, collectively bringing the thunder across the albums ten tracks.
Next up is Prey with its stadium-ready chorus, rumbling bass and double drumming quickly followed by Absolute Power, a more mid-paced number with their trademark break downs. Cemetery Bloom is up next with another ominous spoken intro backed by the sound of a gloomy, almost Medieval choir as the song builds into The Void with its chugging riffs welcoming you to “a world of pain”. Indeed!
There is clearly a lot of pain and a grief behind the album’s creation and is evident on I Hope You Rot with its lyrics questioning faith, religion and Man. This continues through the tracks Shadow Boxing, In Blood and Chronos with its theme of time being against us and that it will come for us all eventually.
One of the most interesting tracks is closer The Colour Of Leaving which has the band making another giant step into new territory with a somber lament to life’s fragility. It is so atmospheric and proves how far Parkway are moving from their early Metalcore roots. It has a poetic, almost spoken refrain as the singer stands next to a grave of a loved-one with his footsteps fading into the distance as he walks away.
Reverence is made for arenas and perhaps, unexpectedly, Parkway Drive are a front-runner to fill them and become the modern Metal band they clearly want and deserve to be.
With a UK tour penciled in for early 2019 we shall see whether they are the festival headliners of tomorrow.
1. Wishing Wells
3. Absolute Power
4. Cemetery Bloom
5. The Void
6. I Hope You Rot
7. Shadow Boxing
8. In Blood
10. The Colour of Leaving
Total length: 42:45
Winston McCall – vocals
Jeff Ling – lead guitar
Luke Kilpatrick – rhythm guitar
Jia O’Connor – bass
Ben Gordon – drums
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