Parkway Drive, a band from Bryon Bay, Australia, is known as one of the biggest metalcore bands in the community in 2018. Reverence is their 7thalbum and it is their most unique to date. Their 4thalbum, Deep Blue, helped them hit the scene with a bang, thanks to their hits Unrest and Karma. Now, in 2018, the Parkway Drive sound has evolved. There has been some controversy with this album, with some saying, it’s not “heavy enough” or that Parkway Drive is “selling out.” Some have also said that they are no longer metalcore. Winston McCall (lead singer) stated in an interview that he doesn’t see Parkway Drive as a metalcore band because they don’t sound like any other band. They want to be known as (and sound like) Parkway Drive.
As a dedicated fan to Parkway Drive, I personally enjoy the majority of the songs and albums that they have released. I will admit, this record is different than their previous, but in a good way. The sound, structure, riffs, and breakdowns in each song are beautifully arranged. Each of their songs is straight to the point. Some focus more on harmony, such as Chronos and In Blood. The first song off the album, and the first single they released,Wishing Wells, focuses more on the instrumentals and the power of the riffs. The song Absolute Power does this as well. Both of these songs also have some of the heaviest breakdowns on the record and for any old school Parkway Drive fans, these songs will be your favorites.
There are some songs that I am not too crazy about, such as Cemetery Bloom and Shadow Boxing. Cemetery Bloom is just a nice little beat with Winston lightly singing over it. Although it does have some good lyrical content, it does not hold my attention. Shadow Boxing surprised me when I first heard it. It started off like Cemetery Bloomand then Winston started rapping. I’m not crazy about rap in metal songs so this song did not really impress me. Shadow Boxing does get into a groove with a nice riff that I can respect. It holds my attention a little more than the prior.
Now, this album reminds me a lot of Metallica’s self-titled album (the “Black album”). This was the album that put Metallica in the limelight and it incorporates the best aspects of the band as a whole. I see a parallel with this record by Parkway Drive. The album also has some songs that, I think, sound good in a stadium; great sing-alongs, such as Prey and The Void. I really enjoy both of these songs and it was great chanting the lyrics and moshing to them when I saw them perform these live at the Carolina Rebellion. Reverence is full of everything the band is known for at this point in their career. They have both the melodic tone of their recent albums and their extreme metalcore feel like their older albums.
Is this my favorite album? No. But did I thoroughly enjoy this album? Yes, 100%. Each song has a different feel and theme with some killer riffs and breakdowns. Each song is unique and shows how diverse and flexible Parkway Drive is with their sound. I personally think that Parkway Drive made a great move with this album. They are one of the all-around best, well put together bands that I have ever seen and heard. They have everything, and they all fit together beautifully like puzzle pieces. I think this record will help put Parkway Drive on a bigger and better scale.
Overall rating: 8/10