Published Sep 23, 2015Inject a little bit of core into metal and you lose the average hesher, though the verdict's still out on what happens when you ratchet up the metal in a metalcore band.
Parkway Drive spent four albums breaking down metal and hardcore, using their distilled essences to complement one another. On their fifth, Ire, they heavily favour the former. The guitar harmonies that dominate opener "Destroyer" approach Iron Maiden territory, while "Crushed" recalls Heaven Shall Burn before raging against the machine Stray from the Path-style. There are still standard Parkway Drive tracks — especially "Dying to Believe" — and parts — the breakdowns are as brutal as ever — but, for the most part, experimentation is the M.O. here. And for the most part, they succeed, though "The Sound of Violence" and its Suicide Season sounds seem slightly out of place.
Impressive though the musical manoeuvring may be, vocalist Winston McCall and his vocal expansions are front and centre here. Lead single "Vice Grip" may have elicited outcries for its radio aspirations, complete with tamer yells than growls, but "A Deathless Song" is really the best exhibition of his newfound abilities. The album closer finds him combining the King 810-esque throaty talking parts with a bona fide melodic chorus. It ain't full on singing, but there's enough tunefulness behind the shouting to form a hook.
Ultimately, Ire will likely draw some from stubborn and frustrated fans, but those who will still fill the massive rooms the band play will find sounds made to fill them. (Epitaph)