Australian hardcore metal band Parkway Drive has done it again. The success of their previous releases, such as 2007’s Horizons and 2010’s Deep Blue, were merely warm-ups. 2012’s Atlas is their most innovative record to date. Their music has matured over the years, and it’s noticeable. With interesting intros and explosions of raw energy, this band has established that they’re not going anywhere.
“Sparks” opens the album with a soothing guitar, but the tension slowly builds as Winston McCall bursts in with powerful growls. One indication of their musical growth involves the string sections throughout intros and closing notes, as demonstrated in the opening song. As “Old Ghosts/New Regrets” begins, you can’t help but get hyped. The excitement continues into track four, “Wild Eyes.” This song will make for an incredible live performance. From the hardcore screams to the insanely fast drums, this song is made to please their longtime fans.
One thing that always grabs your attention as a listener is the intro to a song. Parkway Drive always succeeds when it comes to creating captivating intros. On “The River,” we hear a woman’s beautiful voice swooning, accompanied by a soft guitar. Seconds later, the song breaks into the usual Parkway Drive heaviness. If you’ve never listened to this band before, you’d be sorely mistaken to think they’d have such a light song on their record.
Yet another Parkway Drive fan-pleasing song is on the way. The intensely heavy guitar in “Swing” is enough to create a huge pit in a crowd. Fans of songs such as “Gimme A D” off their 2005 debut, Killing With A Smile, will be more than pleased. Some other standout tracks are “Sleight Of Hand” and “Snake Oil And Holy Water.”
Whether you’re a fan of Parkway Drive or not, this album is worth a shot. The guitar is exceptionally metal and the vocals are always in your face and personal. It’s extremely heavy, but likeable. Just remember, I warned you.