Parkway Drive
Atlas


3.5
great

Review

by NeoSpaz USER (32 Reviews)
October 22nd, 2012 | 329 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A step back in the right direction

Parkway Drive have never had it easy. Starting off in Australia, the group had to overcome many challenges to escape the confines of the Australian coastlines, with their energetic, but not exactly original music. Now, the Australian metalcore band are back with a record with flashbacks to Killing With a Smile and Horizons. As a whole, most of the issues that plagued Deep Blue have been removed, but there are still some consistency issues. Can this record hold up in the modern climate, without following the rest of it's contemporaries?

For the most part, yes it can.

Like any Parkway Drive record, most of the songs are focused around a chug-orientated breakdown. However, this effort feels less like the band is making music to please the masses, and more like they are trying to discuss issues that are important and relevant universally. One blaring problem is the insistent 'Blah!' that Winston shouts after finishing verses in songs such as "Dark Days", "Swing" and "Old Ghosts/New Regrets". Hearing it once created an interesting feel, but once this carried over a multitude of tracks, the frustration set in.

The lyrics are mostly a step up from those of deep blue, with the exception of the pre-breakdown vocals, such as 'Behold the Pale Horse!', a line which is sure to guarantee a multitude of responses from fans and critics alike. However, instead of taking the usual surf-life inspired take on lyrics, this album contains a focus on the environment, which is a nice change in pace from the usual metalcore genre subject matter. 'Dark Days' probably has the best focus on this, basically condemning the actions of humanity and the way they have used the earth, a tried and tested thought. Some of these lyrics do feel a bit out of a place, with a good example being the phrase 'There is no god!' being repeated during "Sleight of Hand" in the lead up to the breakdown.

Winston McCall is regarded by many as an extremely versatile vocalist and he lives up to his reputation on this record, not holding back, changing range with frequency. Some times, it does feel like he is straining to reach certain vocal parts, but mostly we're sitting in his usual vocals, with their powerful strength and anger. The spoken word sections on this are, mostly rather bland, as is expected when dealing with this band. It sounds as if he (Winston) did them rather quickly, roughly, to try and add them in for the sake of them being there. In addition to this, some of the vocal effects being used are on the cliché side and are not really needed to add to the song as a whole.

The guitars as a whole are a step up from the previous offering, Deep Blue with less lacking moments and more powerful riffs. Yes, they do have their segments of chugging, but overall the riffs are better, the leads are more interesting, and the tone is much better than that used on Deep Blue. Notably lacking on Deep Blue were the clean guitars, which have returned on Atlas and add that extra dimension to the music. Songs such as "The River" or "Sparks" are a huge improvement over the clean guitar work seen in "Alone". Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the bass guitar which becomes audible for brief periods of time, but for the most is buried behind the wall of guitars and drums.

Bizarrely, there are several songs with violins and "The River" features a first for Parkway Drive, a female vocalist. These elements help create a new level of interest and help break the boredom that sometimes comes around at the midpoint of the album. Not only this, but the lead guitar work is a lot more melodic, leaving less room for dullness and irritation.

As a whole, this record feels a lot more authentic, less digitial and static than the previous record.. Yes, the occasionally boring breakdowns are still present, but the music is so much more interesting than it previously was, there is little fault to be found. However, not all of this is good. 'Dark Days' and "Old Ghosts/New Regret", both previously released, are some of the worst songs on this album. "Old Ghosts" actually goes so far as to rip off an old Parkway Drive riff, and "Dark Days" has some bland, flat riffing.

Parkway Drive may not be the most original band ever, but what they have created in Atlas is a well crafted, melodious record that is sure to bring in new fans and keep old ones pleased for a long time.



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user ratings (629)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
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    fiendish (3.5)
    Music changes, but Parkway Drive’s style endures....

    Cryio (2.5)
    Another mediocre affair unfortunately....

    hankdee27 (4)
    Surprising experimentation that isn't an everyday breed you see of the metalcore genre....

  • MezoIsMusic (4.5)
    Talent wise, Parkway Drive has already proven to be a powerhouse in the metal scene. They ...

    apokolypz (4)
    Parkway Drive has always had the aggression, now they have gained the emotion....

    SnoopiestGraph (5)
    Buy it today, then buy your friend a copy and support an amazing band of five unimaginably...


Comments:Add a Comment 
NeoSpaz
October 22nd 2012


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yes, I reviewed this early. I had the stream, and I decided to get a headstart on it.
Stream: https://now.jbhifi.com.au/#/music/Album/5021456189991

MichaelSnoxall
October 22nd 2012


12163 Comments


Bleh

MichaelSnoxall
October 22nd 2012


12163 Comments


Tooooo oearly.

deathofasalesman
October 22nd 2012


5863 Comments


What's the point of a headstart? Why not let the album seep in or let alone RELEASE.

NeoSpaz
October 22nd 2012


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I did have a steam, here it is again
https://now.jbhifi.com.au/#/music/Album/5021456189991



MichaelSnoxall
October 22nd 2012


12163 Comments


that stream is missing two songs.

NeoSpaz
October 22nd 2012


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I've had the full release for about a week now, so it's sunk in for me (:

ViralOblivion
October 22nd 2012


7679 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Meh

NeoSpaz
October 22nd 2012


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Hmm.

So it is.
That's strange.

NorwichScene
October 22nd 2012


1522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I heard the leak is missing 2 songs. I'm gonna wait for my CD in 7 days

MichaelSnoxall
October 22nd 2012


12163 Comments


The leak is missing one song.

deathofasalesman
October 22nd 2012


5863 Comments


10 plays on Last.fm in the last 7 days.

Don't know why I went through that effort...

NeoSpaz
October 22nd 2012


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah the leak is missing Blue and The Grey.

NeoSpaz
October 22nd 2012


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Poor Salesman.

RosaParks
October 22nd 2012


15047 Comments


some of the guitar melodies are really really good

NeoSpaz
October 22nd 2012


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, that was the thing I noticed the most

Butkuiss
October 22nd 2012


4253 Comments


The two songs they released from this sounded so goddamn boring, and I really liked Deep Blue.

NeoSpaz
October 22nd 2012


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

The two songs they released were godawful. The rest is a huge improvement

MichaelSnoxall
October 22nd 2012


12163 Comments


yeah Sparks is pretty awesome.

wacknizzle
October 22nd 2012


13681 Comments


Lol Alternative Press gave this a 4.5 out of 5 and Converge a 4 out of 5. Fuck that magazine. I'm not really a fan of this band, I thought Dark Days was decent but Old Ghost/New Regrets was terrible.

Digging: Phobocosm - Deprived



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