Parkway Drive – Deep Blue


Artist

Album

Deep Blue

Label

Resist/Epitaph

Year

2010

For Fans Of

August Burns Red, The Ghost Inside, As I Lay Dying

Summary

Aus Release of '10? Yep.

Rating

94 / 100

The time, has undoubtedly arrived. Zeus and Hades stare foe to foe in the pearl of one anothers’ eye. Julia Gillard does not say ‘sorry’ but instead, cries for ‘horns up’. The vuvuzelas allow the world to breathe once again and pause their irritatingly undying tirade of ‘national identity’. Every Xbox, bucket of corpse paint, footy ball, webcam for youtube guitar/bass/drum/’vocal’ covers, fanny pack, boogie board and hair straightener of the closet emo is hung up, locked away and turned off for this momentous occasion. Two years since the release of the colossal ‘Horizons’ and four since the drop of their debut, ‘Killing With A Smile’, nation-wide heroes Parkway Drive have returned in the hope of stirring every jock/emo/nerd/goth/surfie/neo-punk fan alike with their third full-length to date, ‘Deep Blue’. Delivering thirteen tracks of sheer monstrosity, these surf rats not only attest to their label as Australia’s most successful heavy export, but exceed this to declare their throne amongst the global kings of metal today.

Following the huge success of their previous releases – featuring an onslaught of crushing riffs, demonic vocals and melodic serenades – every fan was left wondering how the five-piece would separate their third instalment. Parkway Drive answered, with breakdowns. Propelling their status from Byron Bay warriors to international emperors of the heavy, the group have maintained their trademarked fast and metallic sound, and further, addressed the call of the down-tune to embellish this with a central focus on the punishing chug. Whilst an overall heavier album, what we have here is nothing inherently different, but moreso an extension of the heavy style they’ve foregrounded in the past. Immediately, the album’s centrality of the heavy is cemented in the intro, ‘Samsara’; the fine-tunings and atmospheric decorations of producer Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Bad Religion, Pennywise) heightening this from simple living-room mosh-antics to stadium massacres. Moreover, 0:41 of ‘Unrest’. That is all.

What’s hoisted this release from simply another metal score, and undeniably elevated the sheer ferociousness of this CD are the vocals of Winston McCall. Each release we’ve seen a general progression: pretty heavy, heavy, heavier. This is just barbaric. “Satan with bees and wasps and fucking giant ogres in his mouth.”  “Death. Times infinity.”  “Like yelling through a million ‘mosh’ pedals but not actually.” ** In all seriousness, it is only the first few seconds of ‘Pressures’ – where vocals are the definitive aspect of the piece – and ‘Karma’, to realise what four years of relentless touring worldwide has done to this man’s vocals; developing it to be one of the most deathly voices in the industry today. With vocals in mind, ‘Deep Blue’ sees a new addition of clean singing with Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion playing his part in “Home is for the Heartless”. The anthem-like chants of “Whoa, Whoa” see a huge contrast to the unforgiving approach of ‘Killing With A Smile’, where their aggressive attitude had no room for heavy metal ballads and group sing-alongs. Love it or hate it, it unquestionably ingrains their position as a stadium band throughout the world today.

Previous albums have showcased the group’s ability to compose full-lengths with every track holding the potential to be a single. ‘Deep Blue’ is a metal album. ‘Deep Blue’ is also a very long album. Whilst possibly their heaviest to date, with tracks such as “Alone” and “Deadweight” highlighting their increasing lean towards mainstream metallic tendencies, there’s a feeling that maybe thirteen tracks was an overshot. At certain points throughout, particular riffs and various chord progressions seem re-used, and somewhat stale. There is a re-working of ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’, ‘Hollow Man’ (now titled ‘Hollow’) that, whilst is hard as hell with its heavier spin and incorporation of Marshall Lichtenwaldt of The Warriors on vocal duties, just does not surpass the original feel championed in their debut EP.   Essentially, though supreme in its structure and evidently superbly thought out, maybe ‘Deep Blue’ as a ten-track could have encased the juice they conjured and better preserved the impact they sought to achieve through this release.

** May or may not have made up those quotes.

Conclusion

Parkway Drive rebounded a third time to confirm that they are the country’s premiere heavy export and one of the most sought after groups of our century. Whilst possibly better in ten, ‘Deep Blue’ hammers thirteen arrangements of crushing breakdowns, fast metallic riffs, metal ballad choruses and pummelling drumwork to declare their third instalment to be their most heaviest to date. As tracks such as ‘Unrest’ and ‘Karma’ maintain their traditional metalcore identity, the duo-guitar onslaught of ‘Wreckage’ and ‘Deliver Me’ cements their status as a stadium-touring band throughout the world. It was unofficially the nation’s release of 2010 before it was released, and for fans and newcomers everywhere, Australia’s kings of heavy have delivered a trophy sufficient in keeping arenas packed out and growing for the years to come.

Tracklisting

1. Samsara
2. Unrest
3. Sleepwalker
4. Wreckage
5. Deadweight
6. Alone
7. Pressures
8. Deliver Me
9. Karma
10. Home Is for the Heartless (ft. Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion)
11. Hollow (ft. Marshall Lichtenwaldt of The Warriors)
12. Leviathan I
13. Set to Destroy

28 Responses to “Parkway Drive – Deep Blue”

  1. Kastor

    Best album yet 10/10. Obviously all those “romance is dead” fags will hate it, but they can fuck off and keep cutting themselves in the corner.

  2. KYS-Josh

    Yeah I dont think it is that amazing either, although I have only listened through once fully. I absolutely loved the EP back in the day and flogged it to death. Didn’t care too much for the last two albums apart from a few songs.

    Anyway. Congrats to them. They have done the industry unthinkable (no radio, no tv blah blah blah too heavy blah blah) and they are masssssssive!

  3. rhaz

    “Summary. Aus Release of ’10? Yep.”
    Im waiting for the Amity – Youngbloods review to come up and then see the reviewer/fan voting – i’d say that it could take the title over Deep Blue
    .

  4. James paik

    @maddo (3): I know enough that this is hardly worth a top 90/100. It’s completely predictable,. I’ll give it to Parkway, they discovered a money making formula and are sticking to it. No exploration whatsoever.

  5. goldenphoenix1

    not worth 90+
    definitely biggest release of 2010, but youve rated this higher than baroness’ latest, higher than deftones’ diamond eyes, 1 below converge’s axe to fall. Relative to other releases paik is right

  6. patobrien10

    “Obviously all those “romance is dead” fags will hate it, but they can fuck off and keep cutting themselves in the corner.”
    what the fuck are you on about mate?

    ultimately its just another mosh album. dont argue.

  7. Kastor

    Who’s arguing? I was stating that a lot of people who call themselves parkway fans will/do hate this album because its not a re production of killing with a smile.

  8. PunkRawk101

    I like this cd for being a progression of their music-and like most I loved Killing with a smile.Its inevitable they will stick to a formula and perfect it.Saying that i prefer to read reviews which dont have such a bias saying “It was unofficially the nation’s release of 2010 before it was released”-reviwer is either on the payroll or sucking some massive dick
    and “cements their status as a stadium-touring band throughout the world”?????
    Its a quality heavy album lets just leave it at that

  9. jem

    @PunkRawk101 (12): I’m all for opinions, but am failing to see how this band is not playing stadium shows around the world, and how this album was not one of the most hyped up releases of this year so far. Read paragraph four and then tell me I’m biased. Prove me wrong and then call me a cocksucker.

  10. ducky

    seriously people who say its not worth 90+ need their heads read.. and i agree with that guy about people not liking it because its not another copy of “killing”..this is their heaviest album without doubt.. and to the guy saying they had found a money making formaula is an idiot.. through their ability in what they do, and threw the hard work they have been through and their ability to back in on stage has had them earned the respect of people to go out and buy their albums instead of downloading them and they are down to earth guys..if your a true music fan youd see theirs more to this album then its “breakdown galore” and how the fuck is it predictable?lol but in saying this we all have our own preferences but i just cant see how this album fails to some

  11. Anonymous

    Great album. The first time I listened to the opening 3 tracks I almost shit my pants. I agree with the review in that the album is too long. Probably 10/11 tracks would’ve been better. yeah the album is heavier, especially Winstons vox, but I do miss the 808s. Keen to hear the new stuff live.

  12. travn8r1990

    Good album, wasn’t what i expected and took a couple listens to get into it. Will be amazing played live.

    And @ ducky: Learn to spell.

  13. josh238

    great review, but dude, tone down the use of the thesaurus aye? “centrality of the heavy” just doesnt make sense.

  14. natedogg86

    Awesome album! Did anyone notice that riff in Pressures that was a blatant rip off of not only a Fear Factory riff but their mechanical/industrial sound as well? Every time i hear that riff i just see Dino chugging it out!

  15. MANZITONES

    “…maybe thirteen tracks was an overshot.”
    “…particular riffs and various chord progressions seem re-used, and somewhat stale.”
    “There is a re-working of ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’, ‘Hollow Man’ (now titled ‘Hollow’) that…. just does not surpass the original feel”
    “maybe ‘Deep Blue’ as a ten-track could have encased the juice they conjured and better preserved the impact they sought to achieve through this release.”

    Surely after saying these things, you can’t possibly believe it deserves 94/100…
    It still just seems to me that the only thing they have backing this album up is the fact that they are already solidified as ‘Australia’s Finest Heavy Act’.

  16. Jessska

    Man, this is worthy of its 94 for sure. I loved it. It’s still very characteristically Parkway but its so solid

  17. lockieb

    the album isn’t bad but wouldnt rate it 94. A lot of the time it seems like they’ve put a whole lot of riffs that they liked together even if it doesn’t flow together well. bit dissapointed

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