"Shred-fests and bursts of speed will appease long-timers."
Australia's most successful heavy music export could easily have escaped without gambling on album number five. However, chants of "Destroy!" during Ire's opening could prove prophetic for supporters strictly anticipating 'soundtrack to a bruising mosh' metalcore. Their illusions may take a hit.
That said, Ire is largely readily identifiable as Parkway Drive. Strings or piano flourishes and unexpected touches like Gregorian chants are afforded enhanced room to breathe, but overall it packs a sonic gut-punch. Shred-fests and bursts of speed will appease long-timers. Dying To Believe's guttural "How do you sleep at night?" catch-cry and accompanying thunderous beatdown will be an instant favourite. Blistering if predictable, Dedicated's "12 years" references feel akin to a love letter, musically and lyrically, to the faithful.
Having gold record plaques on the wall due to a successful formula hasn't deterred the Byron Bay lads from doubling down on fresh elements, though. Single Vice Grip's somewhat of a ground zero; derided for its Bon Jovi-sized riff and arena ambitions, it's cheesy but likeable. Bass-heavy Crushed's brief, somewhat cack-handed pseudo-rapping may overshadow what's among the LP's heaviest moments. The real curveball is sparingly used, bordering on semi-clean vocal excursions. Winston McCall is evidently still growing into this role, and hasn't quite zeroed in on how it slots within their bigger picture, but the distinctive presence is evidence of potential to expand the band's scope.
Not every track's a winner and although some may perceive they have more front than Grace Bros veering from the norm, Parkway proudly signal a new beginning.
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