One of the biggest challenges a band can face, whether you are a top 40 artist or a band scraping together their next EP, is constantly delivering something that shows growth. The factor that makes this already challenging feat more difficult is pleasing the people you want to purchase the record the fan base.
Parkway Drive did all that and more with their newest release, Atlas. The intro track, “Sparks,” sets the tone with vocalist Winston McCall’s trademark growls and memorable delivery. Parkway did not abandon the formula that has branded them one of metalcore’s greatest acts. The guitars are still huge, McCall still assaults with power and the pace is fast throughout.
This though, is what sets Parkway Drive apart from your standard metal act: though the music they play is not what they invented, they have taken it and completely made it their own. The musicianship on the record is outstanding, as guitarists Luke Kilpatrick and Jeff Ling develop some of the most memorable Parkway Drive moments in history. The drums and bass, thanks to drummer Ben Gordon and bassist Jia O’Connor, flow well and solidify the tracks.
Just past the half way mark, “Swing” comes in. This is just the song needed to keep the momentum going, and proves Parkway Drive are no stale act and don’t mess around. McCall’s vocals are on point on this track: guttural one second, shrieking and merciless the next. The album is a whirlwind from start to finish, closing with “Blue and the Grey.”
There is a reason Parkway Drive are one of the biggest metal acts in the world. Atlas is a showcase of everything the band is and has always had potential to be. It is fast paced, poignant and unapologetically Parkway Drive.
Recommended tracks: “Swing,” “Old Ghost/New Regrets,” “Dream Run”
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