Aussie Rockers Aim High But Fall Short
Since their formation in 2003, Byron Bay’s Parkway Drive have proved themselves to be absolute behemoths in the metalcore genre. Breaking into the Australian mainstream with their second record, 2007’s ‘Horizons’ and their 2010 full-length ‘Deep Blue’ saw them chart in the USA, UK and many European countries. Parkway’s music has always been easily identified for it’s breakdown heavy songs and usually aggressive and conceptual lyrics.
With ‘Ire’ Parkway Drive have attempted to expand on and even move away from their metalcore style, opting for a more heavy metal influenced sound. This was immediately established back in August when they released lead single ‘Vice Grip’ a track which is very groove-heavy and features instrumentals and backing vocals that sound like they were picked straight out of the 80’s, unfortunately the track just repeats itself over and over and when it sounds like the track is building up to something epic, it just falls horrifically flat. There is a theme on this album of tracks that have potential to hit harder than they really do, opening track ‘Destroyer’ particularly falls victim to this as it slowly builds from the start to a grand and heavy opening, but never fully takes off.
If there is one redeeming factor on this album, it is definitely Winston McCall’s vocals. The lyrics are as sharp and aggressive as ever and the heavy poetry is delivered with such strength and sincerity by McCall, who sounds more inspired than ever, you need to hear ‘Dying To Believe’ to hear the sheer class of his voice right now.
‘Ire’ is an album that has been released with high expectations from both the band themselves as well as the fans and media. Long time fans may be disappointed by this shift of sound and weak delivery of new influences, if there is any homage to their old sound, it’s ‘Dedicated’ which is without a doubt the heaviest track on this album. An album which overall is lyrically and vocally impressive, but is let down by boring song structure and a repetitive nature.