Parkway Drive
Deep Blue


5.0
classic

Review

by Benjamino Jackanory USER (56 Reviews)
June 19th, 2011 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Metalcore Masterclass

Parkway Drive are one of the most popular metalcore bands on the planet today. Their brutal yet melodic style is considered highly original, and their catchy riffs and aggressive breakdowns are perfect mosh-fare. But is the latest by Byron Bay's metal kids any good?

After the runaway success of the first EP and the two studio albums that followed, Parkway were in an odd place. They'd already quashed any misconceptions people had about the band by creating highly original music, touring relentlessly, and building up a massive fanbase in the UK and beyond. But they had to up the ante yet again, and craft another album to follow up the excellent Horizons. They came out with Deep Blue, which vocalist Winston McCall describes as, 'The search for truth in a world that seems to be devoid of that'. Honourable intentions, surely, but is the album just philosophical hokum and more of the same chugging guitars and angry vocals? Not a chance.

Like all great albums, Parkway Drive have improved on their formula tenfold and have created a very well written and truly groundbreaking album, that'll please longtime fans as much as new ones. Deep Blue feels superior to previous releases in every way, with battering harmonies and such pitch-perfect melody it's almost impossible to deny how phenomenal the album is. Unlike the rest of Parkway's back catalogue, Deep Blue is far more accessible than either Killing With A Smile or Horizons, and rather than containing gloriously gruesome lyrics or cleverly written (if somewhat out-of-character) crowd pullers, it makes it's mark with plethora of distinctly sounding, yet totally unique, 3-minute Bohemoths.

The album opens with the quietly considered 'Samsara'. A smooth, crisp little introduction that sets the tone rather well, starting rather quietly and ending up with a heavier crescendo when the guitars and drums come in. Next is the short and snappy 'Unrest', which is a perfect opening to the brutality that's set to follow. Featuring Winston's trademark angst-ridden vocals and a sing-along section that crowds are sure to dig, the song feels like a Parkway stomper in every sense. After this is 'Sleepwalker', which was released as the first single from the album with a very imaginative video. The song itself is no 'Boneyards', but it features some excellent riffing and some truly amazing solos at the end. 'Wreckage' comes after this. Somewhat more calm by comparison, the song is simple jump-number fare, but as always with Parkway, it's laden with little touches, including a tapping section that's simply mesmerising. The punchy 'Deadweight' chips in at track number 5, and it's more of a tune driven track, with soaring guitars and very well incorporated vocals. Alone is the 'Idols And Anchors' of Deep Blue, blending sing-along riffing and an inspired, if somewhat unorthodox, slow section in the chorus. Meaningful, certainly, but also a little strange. 'Pressures' serves as a companion piece to the third track 'Sleepwalker', featuring a very similar style of songwriting and a just-as-catchy that's what you'll most probably remember better than any other feature of the song.

'Deliver Me' is a brutal and simple shout-along tune that has already become a crowd favourite. Somewhat more superficial than the rest of the album but by no means any less energetic, it's a definite goer, especially at live shows. Following very closely is second single 'Karma', which undoubtedly one of the albums very many high points. Incorporating some excellent riffs and a stupendous solo that's both technically astounding and aurally asphyxiating, the song builds up to a mosh-friendly breakdown that's every bit as memorable as anything off of the first full-length album. Emotionally draining power anthem 'Home Is For The Heartless' is up next. Echoing the same purpose a song like 'Carrion' served on Horizons, the song has a sing-along chorus that crows simply adore, and a very anthemic 'woooo-ooooh, wooooo-oooooh' section that is a nice aside to an already immaculate song.

The first of the last three songs is 'Hollow', which recycles a song from the original EP ('Hollow Man') and makes it sound like a new piece with improved production and an angry chorus. Criminally underrated, the song is a super and memorable moment on the album. Next up is undoubtedly the albums best song; 'Leviathan I'. Supremely anthemic and yet inexplicably, never played at live shows. Superb musicianship and an absolute stormer of a chorus make this a winner in anyone's book, with Winston sounding better than ever before, and the percussion sounding particularly immaculate. Finishing up the album with a somewhat wispy bang is the slightly throwaway 'Set To Destroy'. Not a bad song by any means, but it does represent something of a lapse, especially after the 12 powerhouses that preceeded it. Half-baked riffing and somewhat un-PC songwriting make this an interesting effort, but ultimately rather meaningless.

It's interesting that for such a likeable bunch as Parkway, reception was mostly mixed until this album, which received critical acclaim from most sources, and it isn't hard to see why. The songwriting has matured, along with the musicial merit of the songs and actual sound itself. If metalcore is a genre that's going to be around for any length of time, it needs to buck up its' ideas, because this is simply phenomenal stuff. Not for everyone, certainly, but if you like your songs heavy and don't mind unintelligible vocals, this is definitely a winner.



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user ratings (1185)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Leotroy (4)
Parkway Drive are set to destroy!...

LuminousFire95 (4)
After a few long years of wait, the album that is as raw and organic as you can get is released and ...

ABR157 (3)
What could have been a fantastic record falls short, but still remains better than average....

B R A N D O N S C O T T (3)
Just another Parkway Drive record...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2011


1106 Comments


Benjamin Laud from Accrington who goes to Accross??? Lol, recognised you from the name and the music choice.

silentstar
June 19th 2011


2281 Comments


"Their brutal yet melodic style is considered highly original" This sure is news to me....

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 19th 2011


6504 Comments


I hate this band so much...
Very decent for a first, pos'd. (although it's a bit of a disguised tbt)

Digging: Recondite - Iffy

HenchmanOfSanta
June 19th 2011


1900 Comments


More like Deep Poo

(I haven't actually listened to it but this band is really bad)

craigy2
June 19th 2011


551 Comments


Not bad for a first, you describe the music itself fairly well. Try to avoid track-by-tracks though, it makes the review a bit of a chore to get through and doesn't address themes or common motifs on the album. That said, this is pretty good for a first.

bobafe6604
June 19th 2011


66 Comments


fanboy

pmmets07
June 19th 2011


5913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

props for using "quash" in a review

FearThyEvil
June 19th 2011


12689 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album is pretty boring at a lot of parts. The good songs are what saves this from a lower rating. This is noway a five to me at all or most people on this site.

craigy2
June 19th 2011


551 Comments


Nor does the review make it sound like it's a 5...

FearThyEvil
June 19th 2011


12689 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I didn't even bother reading it yet. Still love "Sleepwalker" off this album.

HeadbangMastermind93
June 19th 2011


624 Comments


Sleepwalker is by far the best song by them. It's the only one that's a fun listen. Every other song they do is boring as shit.

Wheelah
June 19th 2011


756 Comments


"the song has a sing-along chorus that crows simply adore"

Cool typo, bro

MalleusMaleficarum
June 19th 2011


14368 Comments


lol so this is a classic eh

BetaAquilae
June 19th 2011


248 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Album is a joke. Even Sleepwalker cannot redeem it. The review is just plain fanboyish.

fsharptrit0ne
June 19th 2011


4814 Comments


This band fucking sucks

Josh D.
June 19th 2011


13968 Comments


5/5 lol

Spec
June 19th 2011


27269 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Woah a five.

IF HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS WHY DO I FEEL SO FUCKING HEARTLESS

Digging: Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem

jakeyy94
June 19th 2011


12 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

most of the album was ok, i was expecting a great album, although sleep walker and a few other songs are decent, and the sleep walker video is insane. i would check it out.

psykonaut
June 19th 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Their brutal yet melodic style is considered highly original

stopped reading lol

Spec
June 19th 2011


27269 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Ya know, some people have different tastes in music, js.



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