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Album Reviews : Parkway Drive – Ire

By on November 15, 2015

Parkway_Drive_2015_-_IreAnybody who hasn’t been living in a sound proof room for the past ten years in Australia should at least have heard a few Parkway Drive songs. They’ve put in enough hard yards to have become a household name in the Aussie metal scene, extending even further than that. From their beginnings, they have evolved with each album, perhaps not always to old school fans’ taste, especially with their last two efforts, Deep Blue and Atlas, myself included. Even though I’ve been holding on to a bleak hope that they’d return to the fantastic form circa Horizons, their latest effort Ire has left more of a mark on me than any album since then.

Continuing along the path that they were headed, Parkway Drive has adopted a simplistic, melodic hardcore approach to their songwriting, departing from their fast-paced metalcore roots in a big way. This was a trend that I deeply resented in the two albums before this, but for some reason it just works on Ire. The simple, groove-heavy riffs, mixed with impactful drums, and catchy hooks with memorable lyrics make instant headbanging hits out of these songs. Add in some well-placed background ambience, and you’ve got some fantastic additions to their live sets.

“Crushed” is probably one of the most powerful songs on the album, with the great Tibetan chants in the background, and the great vocal work by Winston (which all give it an Asura’s Wrath kind of feel) combine well. The fast-paced, catchy “Dying To Believe” is probably the closest to the old Parkway Drive as people will get on this album. “Fractures” contains some uplifting leads, as well as a crowd-pleasing chorus chant, which is also the highlight of “Vice Grip.” The only song that doesn’t really gel with the rest of Ire is “Writings on the Wall,” which is a slow, spoken-word passage more than a song.

This most certainly isn’t the best material Parkway Drive have produced, but I found it a lot more digestible than Deep Blue or Atlas. With the big steps in improving their newfound characteristics, and some of the catchiest songs I’ve heard this year, one can hope that their next album will perfect what they’ve started building with Ire.

About

Benjen is a qualified teacher residing in the south-east suburbs of Perth. Benjen was introduced to hard rock at the age of 12 with Papa Roach's "Love-Hate Tragedy," and has developed a love for hard rock and metal since. He also has a keen interest in gaming and almost every fandom imaginable, from Doctor Who to Deadpool. He can be followed on Twitter @thetoadmode