A Decade of Parkway Drive’s ‘Horizons’: A Retrospective Review

2017 marked a decade since the release of Parkway Drive’s mammoth, fan-favourite sophomore LP, ‘Horizons’, a record which changed the band’s career and the Aussie heavy music landscape for the better. In this retrospective review, and with the band’s impending national ‘A Decade Of Horizons’ tour with Polaris soon upon us all, we use this retrospective review to look back at a record that truly altered the landscape of Australian heavy music: ‘Horizons’. 

In a cover feature for the December 2007 issue of the now-defunct, alternative magazine Death Before Dishonour, then editor, occasional Thy Art Is Murder ring-in, and current host of Triple J’s The Racket, Lochlan Watt had this to say about Parkway Drive’s position within Australian heavy music:

Parkway Drive does not exist for fame and fortune. They are a band writing the music they love, playing with bands they love, and recording with and releasing through dudes and labels they have long since looked up to. When it comes down to it, they were simply in the right place at the right time, and worked their hearts out to get where they wanted to be… These five dudes from Byron Bay are sticking to what they started with and pulling no tricks to extend their appeal, and are receiving critical acclaim worldwide for simply being themselves. Passion, energy, friendship, trust, and most importantly, honesty, are the personal attributes that have driven Parkway Drive to become the worldwide force they are today.” [1]

It’s quite remarkable that a decade removed from those humble (and entirely accurate) words being spoken, that a statement like ‘worldwide force’ doesn’t even begin to approximate the level of recognition, impact and relevance which Parkway Drive have consolidated in their fourteen-year tenure as a band. In 2007, with only four short years in the game, Parkway Drive were already the shining beacon of the Australian hardcore and metalcore scene, having blown past their local contemporaries in Day Of Contempt, The Red ShoreCarpathian, and I Killed The Prom Queen, before settling in comfortably on their way to global domination. Ten years on, and the group is still on top today, with a consistent back catalogue, insanely loyal fan-base, strong and stable member line-up, and a tireless tour ethic that puts other genre leaders to utter shame. It’s not even remotely hyperbolic to say that Parkway Drive were well and truly responsible for putting Australian heavy music on the map throughout the 2000’s, and if you want to split hairs and argue that they didn’t necessarily do so for ‘x band’ or ‘Y band’, then that’s perfectly fine. However, what’s undeniable is that Parkway Drive blazed the trail right into the fucking ground, deep and dark enough that any other Aussie hopeful could successfully (and easily) follow in their footsteps.

And for the most part, this rapid rise to the apex of international heavy music rests firmly with one crucial element of the band’s discography: their monstrous second full-length album, ‘Horizons’. Released back in October 2007 through Resist and Epitaph Records, this is the record that first catapulted the band to where they would stand today.

The Follow-up: Embracing the Hype

After gaining momentum with the release of their 2004 ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ EP, and successful support slots for established acts like Alexisonfire, Hatebreed, Bleeding Through, Shadows Fall, As I Lay Dying, Chimaira and In Flames, the band set off to the U.S. to work on their debut, full-length album with Killswitch Engage guitarist and renowned producer, Adam ‘D’ Dutkiewicz (Unearth, August Burns Red, The Acacia Strain, and countless others). The following release of 2005’s ‘Killing With A Smile’ through Resist Records was the first real jumping off point for Parkway Drive into the deep end of full-time touring.

The band then spent much of 2005 on the road supporting their solid debut album, with huge national runs across the country, including multiple regional dates, along with festival appearances at Big Day Out, Soundwave, Homebake and more. May 2006 would see the band’s second and last major line-up shuffle, with bassist Shaun Cash exiting the band amicably for starting a family and having a child on the way. Cash would then be replaced by long-time friend of the band and merch guy, Jia ‘Pie’ O’Connor, who would play with Parkway throughout their first set of international tours across the UK, Europe and the U.S. (As is infamously detailed in the band’s first 2009 DVD-doco).

With the band’s profile rising steadily, they began to demo and showcase new material for album #2. The five-piece – made up of vocalist/loveable frontman Winston McCall, guitarists Jeff Ling and Luke Kilpatrick, O’Connor on bass and drummer Ben Gordon – would return to Dutkiewicz as producer; recording new material in May 2007 at Zing Studios in Westfield, Massachusetts.

Speaking on the recording process, McCall remarked on what fans could expect from their eagerly anticipated, follow-up album:

Horizons marks two years of refinement since our last release. The songs, the sounds, the speed, the heaviness and the production has [sic] all been stepped up. Working with Adam [Dutkiewicz] again made our job super easy as well as highly enjoyable. I think the end result is by far the best record we’ve made so far, but I guess that’s always for others to judge.” [2]

The much younger Parkway Drive of the previous decade.

The Album: “So It Begins…

Now, let us take a deep-dive into the twelve tracks that make up ‘Horizons’. First, with lyrical explanations from McCall himself; second, with brief explorations of the record’s themes, sonics and overall tone; and lastly, using thoughts and reflections from some of Australia’s current crop of heavy talent, who were influenced by Parkway Drive and their metalcore masterpiece.


As far as instrumental openers go, this one is straight-forward and succinct. There’s a plaintive, lingering lead riff and a distant snare roll from Gordon, before the track abruptly stops, holding the final notes and sliding directly into…

‘The Siren’s Song’:

…the bouncing snare, double-kick blasts, frenetic riffage and McCall’s piercing screams of the savage, ‘The Siren’s Song‘. This second track sets the bar damned high for ‘Horizons’ from the outset, with an obvious through-line from ‘Killing With A Smile’ , whilst also declaring Parkway’s growth as both musicians and songwriters.

As McCall notes of the track: “This was one of the first songs we wrote for the album. That song’s basically about drugs, and the idea of destroying yourself to fit in with someone’s idea of what you should be, basically fucking yourself up.” [1]

Lyrically, those themes of self-destruction and lost innocence are front and centre from the first verse: “Virtue is lost/Beyond this sleek veneer/Beneath the neon existence/Her face is grey/And everything she longs for turns to black.” As the track progresses, it’s clear that McCall’s vocals have progressed in leaps and bounds. His intonation is deeper and more caustic, with a potent mix of high screams and guttural, low growls. With a pronounced pit-call (“And does it make you sick?”) the track drops into the album’s first, massive breakdown, complete with gargantuan drum-sounds and quaking bottom-end. As Ling and Kilpatrick trade dynamic, harmonised riffs alongside Gordon’s pummelling rhythmic backbone, ‘The Siren’s Song’ is characteristic of Parkway Drive’s evolution on ‘Horizons’: heavier, moshier, yet more melodic and diabolically catchy.

‘Feed Them to the Pigs’:

McCall: “That’s a song about work… It’s a really strange way to live life: just working, and consuming, and dying, and then getting replaced in whatever job you live.” [1]

Along with a later cut, ‘Moments of Oblivion‘, this track represents one of the shortest compositions on ‘Horizons’ and clocks in under the three-minute mark. ‘Feed Them to the Pigs’ is suitably quick and nasty, with a strong undercurrent of chugging rhythms, cracking snare hits, and lyrics about human beings walking together meekly into the capitalist thresher (“We are the working dead/Haunted by the ghosts of unanswered dreams/We are the flesh and the blood of a lost generation”). The track closes with a slamming beatdown, as McCall literally cries out for “Revenge!” There’s also a cheeky reference to Guy Ritchie’s classic British gangster film Snatch in the title as well.


McCall mentions that their classic hit is a song about love: “That song’s about airports… The hardest thing for me to ever do is to be in a situation where I have to say goodbye and walk away from the person I love, and there’s no option about it, you have to walk away.” [1]

Even to the most dedicated Parkway fan, there wasn’t a whole lot on ‘Killing With A Smile’, or even on the band’s debut EP, that indicated the band could churn out an anthemic, stadium-ready banger quite like ‘Carrion’. (I will concede that ‘It’s Hard To Speak Without A Tongue’ comes pretty damn close, but my point still stands.) Reflecting on the impact of hearing ‘Horizons’ for the first time, She Cries Wolf vocalist Luke Harriss comments: “The heavy parts that Parkway were best known for were heavier, and the melodic sections were a nice accompaniment. I remember listening to the intro to ‘Carrion’ for the first time and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. I knew that this song was going to go off live.

Essentially the soundtrack to any Destroy All Lines club-room in the late 2000’s, ‘Carrion’ is an absolute beast of metalcore songwriting, and there’s a reason why it’s still a fan-favourite and setlist staple ten years on and three albums later. This track is the Parkway Drive equivalent of ‘My Last Serenade’ or ‘Rose of Sharyn’ (and given the Adam D connection here, that’s hardly surprising), but what makes ‘Carrion’ truly special, is how it achieves radio-friendly melodies without pandering or sacrifice. There’s an absence of superfluous clean choruses, yet McCall’s forlorn lyricism and cadence keep almost every single line quotable as weaponised earworms. It’s also heavy in the Parkway sense – see the swift two-step section in the verse, or the duelling guitars and crashing cymbals in the bridge – and fits into the track-list sequencing without any jarring sense of ‘MUST-PUT-SINGLE-HERE’. An undeniably fantastic song, ‘Carrion’ is easily – easily – one of the greatest tunes in Parkway’s extensive discography.

‘Five Months’:

McCall: “I wrote that when I was in Germany at the time, we were both going through a whole bunch of stuff. It’s a really strange feeling to be so far away from someone, and to literally know that you have a whole planet between you, and you can’t get any closer to them at that point in time.” [1]

While the first three tracks proper on ‘Horizons’ are all solid in their own unique ways, ‘Five Months’ was the track that made me go ‘Holy shit!’ when I first heard it, and it’s still my favourite track on the album. ‘Carrion’ certainly gets all the attention (and rightfully so), yet ‘Five Months’ is both a spiritual successor lyrically and (in my humble opinion) the better and more captivating of the two musically [yep, backed hard -ed]. This is the first, real taste of Parkway’s affinity for progressive song structures on ‘Horizons,’ helping to further develop and add complexity to their sound, which they would continue to do on subsequent releases like ‘Deep Blue’ and ‘Ire’.

The track can be loosely broken into four sections: there’s the galloping verses, with Gordon’s relentless tempos and McCall’s fierce vocals, which reach an early snare-roll crescendo; then a punishing breakdown section, with axe-men Ling and Kilpatrick trading chugging riffs in between McCall’s penetrating screams (“The night opens wide/Swallowing every sense/Embracing me with emptiness”), which are perfectly phrased to drive the track’s momentum; followed by a melodic, mid-section break, where McCall reflects on touring life and absence: “How can we truly say that we are alive/When everything I see in me is screaming?/How can we truly say that we are alive/When everything I see in me is screaming otherwise?” The track then builds back up to a roaring climax, before bursting through with more double-kick fury from Gordon and incredible licks from Ling and Kilpatrick. Oh, and those harmonised solos at the end, before the final chorus/breakdown? Straight-up, goosebumps-worthy shit!


Ah yes, the other key set staple.

McCall: “That song’s simply about humans fucking up the earth. I’m not a positive person when it comes to the outlook on humanity and the impact it’s had. We live on the only place we can in an entire universe, and yet we’re destroying it, and I just can’t fathom the idea that we have this amazing planet, and things like our greed come over everything, and I basically don’t think we deserve it.” [1]

Look, you only really need to know five words here and that’s: “There’s blood INNN THEEE WATTTTER!

The lead single from ‘Horizons’ is perhaps the most definitive track of Parkway’s entire career. Right now, there are at least fifty small-time bands across our planet, either covering this song or dissecting it in jam rooms, trying to figure out its deepest, darkest secrets. That’s not counting the hundreds that have done so years before, either. This track also marks the band’s worst-kept-secret boner for all things ocean-related (something which would manifest itself on the concept for 2010’s punishing follow-up album, ‘Deep Blue’), and it includes one of their best and most iconic breakdowns. As far as heavy Parkway tracks go, this banger is right up there.

‘Idols and Anchors’:

McCall has some no-bullshit words about this track, saying: “That song’s about basically idols becoming your anchors, like, looking up to people and admiring people to the point where you have them as a safety net… I guess until you realise that you are the only one that you can rely on, no matter what… everyone’s born alone, and everyone dies alone, so until you realise that, you’re always going to be living in someone’s shadow.” [1]

With another dose of progressive flirtations, the first track off of Side B of the album builds from a stellar lead riff, before pummeling rhythms and McCall’sOhhhhh!” scream kicks in. There’s significant guitar interplay from Ling and Kilpatrick in the verses, which flows seamlessly into a flashy mid-section, rounded out by Gordon’s steam-roller double kicks and an infectious, two-step riff.

Obviously around the time ‘Horizons’ was released, the band had already established themselves here in Australia and as a result were playing much larger venues,” explains Liam Anderson, the drummer for Adelaide hardcore crew Reactions“I think songs like ‘Idols and Anchors’ translated noticeably well in a large environment in comparison to [their] earlier material. With that being said, the song finds its way back to hardcore about halfway through, which blends both stadium-like metal and hardcore perfectly, something that [Parkway] is praised for time and time again.

Similarly, Luke Gal, drummer for She Cries Wolf, agrees, adding: “‘Idols and Anchors’ and ‘Smoke ‘Em…’ were some of the first hardcore/metalcore songs I ever tried to learn, way back before I learnt how to double-kick properly, and would just get jelly legs after playing for thirty seconds.

‘Moments in Oblivion’:

McCall: “That was actually a reasonably long song which I cut down, and there’s a hell of a lot of stuff missing out of there… it’s simply for us, and the last two lines are a description of us and certain things that have happened within the course of this band, and that’s basically it.” [1]

Of all the tracks on ‘Horizons,’ this one is likely the hardest to read. As McCall hints above, the composition was initially more fleshed out, but eventually shortened into the pseudo-interlude present at the album’s mid-way point. Musically, the song feels like it’s building to an epic and powerful resolution, before being abruptly snuffed out. McCall’s vocals are noticeably distant and hollow, while the riffs are curiously melancholic. There’s also a cheeky pinch harmonic and a subtle fade-out—all wrapped up under two minutes. Thematically, there are certainly some parts missing, but lyrical clues come from track’s title and secondary mentions of ‘oblivion’ in the album’s closer and the title track (more on that later) – telling of the band’s very own “moments in oblivion”.

‘Breaking Point’:

McCall: “That’s just a diatribe on… the concept of what will happen when we finally fuck up and press all the little red buttons on all corners of the globe and everything basically goes to hell… We just try to run the planet, consuming things and destroying things, and eventually, I think that’s going to be what destroys us—our overall need to just own everything.” [1]

Yet another album highlight, this track basically takes what you know and love about Parkway Drive, dials everything up to 11, rips off the knob and then spits on the amp like its pure trash. Make no mistake: this track is utterly relentless and brutal (or ‘br00t4l’ to use the Myspace vernacular of this album’s period). With a blistering and frenetic start, we see guitar heroics from Ling and Kilpatrick crackle left and right, all combined with a driving rhythm section from Gordon and O’Connor. As the track picks up speed, there’s a short verse before McCall’s dark, impending growl foreshadows that shit is definitely about to go down.

Gordon’s drum fills here land like mortar fire, before the beatdown section hits like a fucking uppercut. McCall’s voice goes full-blown demonic, chanting: “Nothing is sacred/Nothing shall be saved/No one shall be spared the horror/That has yet to come.” With huge, reverberating toms sounding the death-knell, ‘Breaking Point‘ moves into one of the most involuntarily moshable parts on the entire record. It’s around here that McCall’s lyricism always caught my ear, with a vocal line that I distinctly recall hearing as ‘Blackened flesh, blasted heaths’—which immediately conjured up images of some kind of Shakespearean-meets-H.G. Wellian nightmare; fitting for a track principally about man-made Armageddon. Yet it turns out that the real lyrics are just as evocative and visually potent: “Blackened flesh, blistered/Hangs from skeletal frames/Stalking this arid wasteland/Our minds immune to change.

With dense, layered vocals, there’s a finger melting guest solo from ‘Slo-Han Tu-Dix’ (which is almost certainly a piss-take pseudonym, but if the internet is to be believed, is also a real person. Though, if I’m wrong here, my sincerest apologies). The track then drops into a super heavy, slo-mo breakdown that makes pit lords the world over lose their shit, with McCall ostensibly phoning in his vocals from some sulphuric, Stygian hell-scape, before it picks right back up again, tearing away for the abyss at breakneck speed.

‘Dead Man’s Chest’:

McCall: “It’s got the same name as Pirates Of The Caribbean, which I’m kind of stoked on, and it’s about smoking. It’s not so much a message saying, ‘I hate you if you smoke,’ it’s simply a commentary on someone dying because of the diseases brought about by the poisons in cigarettes.” [1]

This track manages to edge out ‘Boneyards’ for the heaviest track on ‘Horizons’; something which Reactions vocalist Lachy Pitcher noticed early on: “My first impression was that it [‘Horizons’] was definitely very aggressive and probably a little heavier than ‘Killing With A Smile,’ especially on the lower tuned songs like ‘Dead Man’s Chest.’

When McCall drops in with the first line, “When your lungs collapse,” two things are made abundantly clear: 1) this is the only song on ‘Horizons’ that starts with the breakdown, and 2) it sure isn’t here to fuck spiders. This track gets heavy and more importantly, it stays heavy, with down-tuned chugged riffs, massive drums and levelling bottom-end (see the skull-crushing “Into a portrait of agony/Crushed” section). It’s also notable for having the only guest vocal appearance on ‘Horizons,’ courtesy of Aussie hardcore stalwart Pete Abordi (Level, No Apologies, Last Nerve), who’s Sydney snarl pairs perfectly with McCall’s formidable growls. The track veers down into another chug-fest towards the end, with panned vocals and wild, primal screams, as an ominous guitar lead delivers an outro that would make fans of The Acacia Strain and Thy Art Is Murder blush hard.


McCall: “That song’s about driving in an area, I think it’s in Victoria, and I wrote that at four in the morning in my head… it’s more just a strange rant, but you really get the feeling that you want the sun to come up as quick as it can, so you have something to bring you out of this nothingness, because it really is like nothing when you’re driving along.” [1]

Moving towards the album’s end, this track represents the ‘classic’ Parkway sound, with a traditional heavy metal vibe in the leads, and guitar interplay between old mates Ling and Kilpatrick that nods back to the more melodic moments from ‘Killing With A Smile’. McCall shows off his dynamic vocal range over a rolling breakdown, alternating between bellowing lows, mid-range barks and high shrieks. Gordon pushes himself to the extreme, flailing across his kit during a thick and fast mid-section, juxtaposed against McCall’s poignant and emotional delivery: “Every scar/Let every scar still bear your name/Every scar still bears an angel’s face/An angel’s face.” It’s really just another killer, progressive moment on ‘Horizons’ which blitzes by the listener in just over three and half minutes.


McCall: “That song’s about time. It’s the concept of how little we mean in the scope of the world. We’re a speck in the history of the universe, of this planet, and the idea that we spend our existence doing so little… That basically seems to be one of the only things that we have yet to conquer. We, the human race, have a universal fear of death.” [1]

On the album closer and title track, the first words spoken by McCall (“So it begins”) provide a thematic link back to album’s first track, ‘Begin’. As McCall himself notes, the overarching theme is the irrevocable march of time, yet notions of permanence, death, oblivion and nothingness also sit firmly in the track’s background; highlighting and resonating with themes already discussed on the preceding eleven tracks. In analysing the lyrics of ‘Horizons,’ the closing words of ‘Frostbite’ provide a good reference point: “I chase the sun.” Musically the track can be broken into three individual movements (melodic intro, dense metal mid-section, and fuckin’ epic outro), which also parallel McCall’s lyrical observations: namely those of the waking dawn, the long day and the closing dusk.

The melody of the track’s first movement is the ‘dawn’ or birth of life, existing free from the corruption of life’s eventual horrors, “Free from the thought of doubt/Free from the selfish conflict” with “Our eyes drawn open,” standing with “open arms… Before the dawn.” In the middle of the track, increased tempos and interwoven rhythms reflect the every-‘day’ struggle of life: to live, to love, and to ultimately toil for whatever it is that we desire. McCall speaks of a rising sun, which casts light on a simultaneously “lying” and “dying world.” His words turn to life’s purpose and the greater meaning of absurdity, noting with an air of self-referential masochism that life is nothing more than the “Sadistic, perpetuation/Of stagnation.“By accepting death and decay as inevitable facets of being – or, acknowledging the ‘dusk’ of life – the track bursts into its last moments, closing out the album in shimmering guitar and haunting vocals. McCall takes the existential hope of the track’s beginning, and inverts it: “In time/And so it ends/In time/We all find an end.

It’s perhaps fitting then that the final words spoken on the album both reflect and repeat the track’s theme, and the album as a whole: “Embrace our last/Empty/Horizons.

The Legacy: Ten Years On

Following its October 2007 release, ‘Horizons’ proved that Parkway Drive had truly come into their own as a band, and they were destined for bigger things. Released to mostly critical acclaim, ‘Horizons’ garnered a 10/10 perfect score from Blunt Magazine at the time, hit #27 on the US Top Heatseekers chart, and debuted at #6 on the ARIA charts here (having since been certified gold) — a result which was unprecedented for a group as unwaveringly heavy as Parkway. [3]

After performing their own headlining tour across the U.S. (a major achievement for any Australian act, truly) and releasing their first live DVD in 2009, the band would bunker down for several months for album #3, leading to the much-anticipated release of ‘Deep Blue’ on June 25th, 2010. The album, produced by coveted producer Joe Barresi (Melvins, Queens Of The Stone Age), was another critical success, charting globally across the U.S. and Europe, a #2 Bestseller on the iTunes charts domestically, while also improving on ‘Horizons’ in terms of chart debuts, rocketing in to #2 on the ARIA charts. [3] More mainstream rock outfits began to take notice, with Alternative Press positively gushing over ‘Deep Blue,’ calling the record “genuinely addictive” and acknowledging that Parkway had “made one of the most mind-numbingly oversaturated genres seem fresh and full of possibilities.” [4] And perhaps most fittingly of all, November that same year would see ‘Deep Blue’ nominated for, and win, an ARIA Award for the inaugural Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album category, while also receiving the Australian Independent Record (AIR) Award for Best Independent Hard Rock or Punk Album. [5] [6]

In all, this was well-deserved recognition for all of Parkway’s hard work, especially from an industry that had spurned Australia’s extremely loyal and fervent heavy music fanbase for many years.

The band’s touring schedule would then go into fucking overdrive, with Parkway Drive spending most of their time on the road, headlining tours across the U.S., Europe, Asia and back here at home. The group’s fourth album ‘Atlas’ would continue to build off their meteoric rise, hitting #3 on the ARIA charts, with UK heavy music publication Metal Hammer declaring the album as “evidence enough that they’re one of the best metalcore bands on earth.” [7] Not ones to rest on their laurels, Parkway continued to push the envelope with the 2015 release of their fifth album ‘Ire,’ incorporating dramatic shifts in sound and a hectic live show, complete with pyrotechnics and a rotating drum ‘cage of death’. ‘Ire’ would be the album to finally crack the #1 position on the ARIA charts for the group, securing their second ARIA Award nomination, and put the group within the esteemed pages of Rolling Stone magazine, who remarked that Parkway Drivedon’t fuck around” and described ‘Ire’ as “uncompromising and brutal.” [8]

While it might be a far cry from their roots playing all-ages shows at the Byron Bay High School, conquering international stages, winning ARIA Awards and gracing the pages of Rolling Stone prove that with hard-work and unstinting dedication, Parkway Drive is the real deal—so it’s ok to embrace the hype. And despite their success, the band remains as humble and gracious as ever, never forgetting their fans and the early groundswell support for ‘Horizons’ which put them where they are today.

When they released ‘Killing With A Smile’ it blew me away, but ‘Horizons’ somehow was even another step above that. I had to learn every song on guitar to try [and] understand how they got everything to sound that massive,” reflects She Cries Wolf guitarist, Kyal Franklin“In 2003/2004, they opened my eyes to a whole new genre of music during my most influential years, and changed my outlook on songwriting and style ever since… If it wasn’t for being exposed to Parkway Drive, I probably wouldn’t have started going to local shows, formed bands or made heaps of mates in the process.

The Verdict: A Classic in the Making

If you’ll briefly forgive me for an obligatory quote cross-hatching, journalistic detour, in discussing Kanye West’sYeezus’ album, Lou Reed – American singer, songwriter and producer, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, and a founding member of the Velvet Underground – effectively sums up the desired critical approach for any album retrospective:

It works because it’s beautiful—you either like it or you don’t—there’s no reason why it’s beautiful. I don’t know any musician who sits down and thinks about this. He [West] feels it, and either it moves you too, or it doesn’t, and that’s that. You can analyse it all you want.” [9]

It’s this intrinsic beauty and ‘moving’ momentum which makes ‘Horizons’ both a metalcore classic and Parkway Drive’s most complete album. Sure, ‘Killing With A Smile’ was solid and invigorating for its time; yes, ‘Deep Blue’ was gargantuan, raw and visceral; of course, ‘Atlas’ was polished and laser-focused; and no doubt ‘Ire’ was easily the band’s most ambitious and dynamic album to date. Yet despite these strong contenders, ‘Horizons’ just feels like Parkway Drive — more so than any other record of theirs. Whether this is a function of nostalgia, exceptional musical composition, or simply Parkway hitting their stride right when they did, is wholly inconsequential. There’s a damn good reason the band has sold out over three-quarters of the dates for their A Decade of Horizons national tour (with most of those being the original tour dates, and the shows which are still available — at the time of writing — being added due to overwhelming demand). As Pitcher notes to us:

I think ‘Horizons’ is automatically part of the Australian scene’s legacy because Parkway Drive released it… It reaffirmed that they can continue to write songs that people inside and outside the heavy music scene still listen to and resonate with to this day, and virtually selling out a ten-year anniversary tour essentially proves that.

Parkway Drive fans, both old and new, recognise that ‘Horizons’ is the definitive album for the band; it’s just quintessential Parkway. It has the best songs, the most crushing breakdowns, and the biggest sing-a-longs. All the aspects of the band which Watt described back in 2007 are there to be found: passion, energy, friendship, trust, and honesty, and it’s these attributes that a listener hears on ‘Horizons’; a record that’s one of the most complete, sincere and transcendent albums in the greater metalcore canon. Ten years on from its initial release, ‘Horizons’ has come to define Parkway Drive’s place within the global alternative music scene, and as one of Australia’s heaviest household names.

And for that reason alone, it deserves to be celebrated.

Check out the dates for Parkway’s upcoming celebratory ‘Horizons’ tour next month below and the full list of supports here















References, for those of you interested in just where the fuck I got all of those quotes from:

[1] Lochlan Watt and Winston McCall, “Parkway Drive”, Death Before Dishonour, Issue Seven (December 2007), 46-55.
[2] “Parkway Drive to release new album; tour”. Alternative Press (July 24 2007). https://www.altpress.com/index.php/news/entry/archive_2361. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
[3] “Australiancharts.com – Parkway Drive – Horizons”. Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
[4] Dan Slessor, “Parkway Drive – Deep Blue”. Alternative Press (June 29 2010). https://www.altpress.com/reviews/entry/deepblue. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
[5] “History – Winners By Award”. https://www.ariaawards.com.au/history/award/Best-Hard-Rock-Heavy-Metal-Album. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
[6] “Australian Independent Record Labels Association – Awards History”. https://www.air.org.au/awards/history. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
[7] Terry Bezer, “Parkway Drive – Atlas”. Metal Hammer (October 16 2012). http://teamrock.com/review/2012-10-16/parkway-drive-atlas. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
[8] Jaymz Clements, “Parkway Drive – Ire”. Rolling Stone Australia (September 23 2015). https://rollingstoneaus.com/reviews/post/parkway-drive-ire/2341. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
[9] Lou Reed, “Lou Reed Talks Kanye West’s Yeezus”. The Talkhouse (September 3 2014). http://www.talkhouse.com/lou-reed-of-the-velvet-underground-talks-kanye-wests-yeezus/. Retrieved 19 December 2017.

2 Responses to “A Decade of Parkway Drive’s ‘Horizons’: A Retrospective Review”

  1. chump

    Great read! I miss the old parkway. KWAS and Horizons will always be my fav. I was at the ‘08 DVD gig at the Roundhouse on Friday night, then drove to newie for the sat show and back to the Roundhouse for Sunday night. Best weekend. It was a killer line up too.

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