Monday, November 5, 2012

Parkway Drive - Atlas (2012)

Metalcore is a very odd genre. Despite that it contains odd riffs, harsh vocals and often has a song construction that is confusing as s**t, it has almost become somewhat main stream in rock circuits during the 21st century. It is a genre that I have a hard time to really appriciate since most of these bands just makes their music more complex than what is necessary. That does not mean that I do not have any favourite bands from the metalcore world. Bands like The Devil Wears Prada, All That Remains, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall and Bullet For My Valentine (how the hell did they got labeled as a metalcore band?) have pushed the genre forward and made some huge success both in the music world and in my listening world. But there is no other band in this genre that is rising faster than the Australian band Parkway Drive. So they are now up to test me and trying to convince me into their side. Let us see if they have suceeded.

So let us run the checklist for casual metalcore parts on "Atlas". Complex song structures? Not that complex. Harsh vocals? Oh yeah. Odd riffs? Some here and there but not to many of them. Breakdowns? Pretty few for a metalcore band. So as you see, Parkway Drive is not that metalcore but all (or at least the most) of the elements are there which is enough to label the band as metalcore.

I would consider "Atlas" as a mash up between a sligthly heavier version of Darkest Hour and the latest album from Between The Buried And Me, "The Parallax II: Future Sequence". It is heavy but has a kind of outer space feeling during most of the album, which I like. And the album got a pretty good variation as well. For example, we have mostly heavy songs but in the middle of the heavy stuff we find a soothing track called "The River". A surprisingly great track that shows a more laid back side of the band. Something you do not see every day when it comes to this genre. The band has skill but I feel that even though the singing is powerful it can be a little repetitive. Fortunately, that is the only weakness for Parkway Drive when it comes to the musical abilities.

All in all I see why Parkway Drive has become as popular as they are now. A heavy sound that is also melodic and easy to follow up on have made the band to a gang that you can count on. "Atlas" is a great album filled with songs that would make most of the bands comeptitors envy. The only thing that the band has to improve is the singing and maybe also making the entirety better through out the album. An exciting band that makes good music but nothing breath taking... yet.

Songs worthy of recognition: Old Ghost/New Regrets, The River, Wild Eyes

Rating: 8/10 Dark Days

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