Parkway Drive – Darker Still Review

The band was one of the unheralded best live acts and tours going before the Pandemic, a feat that finally saw the band dominate on a world stage far...

Released by: Epitaph Records

Release Date: September 10th, 2022

Genre: Metalcore

Links: https://parkwaydriverock.com/

 

Line Up:

Winston McCall
Jeff Ling
Luke Kilpatrick
Ben Gordon
Jia O’Connor

 

Tracklist:

 1. Ground Zero

 2. Like Napalm

 3. Glitch

 4. The Greatest Fear

 5. Darker Still

 6. Imperial Heretic

 7. If A God Can Bleed

 8. Soul Bleach

 9. Stranger

10. Land Of The Lost

11. From the Heart of the Darknes

 

 

It’s always interesting to me to see bands as they progress or go through phases. This can be said about Australian Metalcore masters Parkway Drive. For many long-time fans, having an already established band change their sound after much material, can seem disheartening. Look I get it, people grow up, they have families, and they get bored of playing the same things. I’m not sure how and when this all happened for the guys, but after the “Atlas” release, they conjugated a more mainstream Metal core sound, and once “Ire” and “Reverence” came out they had already created a more polished sound. Some fans I’m sure didn’t take too well to that, but for many who have seen and heard these songs live, honestly, the change was a welcomed one.

The band was one of the unheralded best live acts and tours going before the Pandemic, a feat that finally saw the band dominate on a world stage far and wide, including headliners at many festivals the likes of Wacken amongst others. Their influence was felt across the Metal world for sure. After taking a short hiatus due to what’s been described as a mental break, and a canceled North American spring tour, the guys are back with their seventh studio album. Parkway Drive wastes no time unleashing their brand of brutal metalcore on “Darker Still”, reminding fans they are still around. How would it measure up to “Reverence”?

“Like Napalm” is a neck breaker of a tune, with axeman Jeff Ling providing the groove riffs that many have come accustomed to, especially on the last record “Reverance”. The crushing grooves continue on the mosh-inducing “Glitch”, one which will surely get plenty of live playing time, this one has tons of energy and the mid-tempo builds up with Winston delivering a churner full of blissful punches. This one became their first single a few months ago. The full frontal riffs in “The Greatest Fear” is another top cut to be had, the drum work is delivered with precision.

The album title song “Darker Still” tones things down with a more melancholy, there I say power ballad? A nice touch I have to say, Winston’s mostly clean vocals give the song a different touch, and Ling again delivers exceptional guitar work, the choruses towards the end add some haunting traits to this banger. One of the strongest songs on the record. Another heavy hitter breaks through in “Soul Bleach”, the energy in this one is infectious and vocalist Winston McCall does his best to bring his aggressive stylings to the song. The tempo buildup just delivers on a few of the songs, as it laters erupts following a similar formula provided on past albums.

I don’t see much wrong going on Parkway Drive’s new offering. They keep the sound going that helped them rise to the top in recent years. Production wise still a slammer of a record and the density in the songs here compliments the band at this point in their long career. They are known for their crazy live shows, and tons of energy, and there are plenty of live cut candidates here that will only bolster their live performances. So many great releases this month and you can surely add this one to the docket!!!

 

Score: 8/10

Reviewed by: Shadow Editor

Editors Pick EditorPick Rex Brown - Smoke On This Review

 

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Parkway Drive - Darker Still
8
Parkway Drive - Darker Still
The Good
  • Crushing
  • Melodic
  • Production
  • 8
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