Destruction from Downunder
Australian metalcore legends Parkway Drive are back for the attack with their sixth long player entitled Reverence which follows hot on the heels of their chart-topping smash Ire. Frontman Winston McCall in a recent interview claimed that Reverence would be a much more aggressive album than its predecessor. If it’s heavier than any of their last six albums then get ready to get your face melted off the bone.
Normally I hate spoken word openings on albums but this one just sounds right as does it’s ending which is also spoken word. “Wishing Wells” then destroys everything in its path and everything that will step in its path from any other band. Winston McCall‘s vocals would be the perfect paint stripper for those tough jobs where you can’t get it out of the cracks. This is heavy and melodic at the same time and the guitar riffs throughout are amazing.
“Prey” kicks off with an upbeat riff that makes you wanna dance a jig and to my shock features an actual vocal in the chorus. This is a powerful and destructive track. A chugging bass line kicks “Absolute Power” into gear and is definitely new territory for Parkway Drive. “Cemetery Bloom” almost sounds like a dance track at its opening and is pushed further into that territory with a harmonic almost monk-like chant throughout. It seems it was all a build up for the following track, “The Void”, which has one of those riffs that makes you go “yes, yes, yes”. I love the venom and spit in the vocals and the chorus is holy shit commercial but heavy at the same time.
“I Hope You Rot” is destructive, powerful, anthemic and that monk-like chant is back and suits this track so well. Everything sounds good here, the guitars, the drums are intense and the vocals ferocious.
An actual melodic vocal comes from the speakers and my jaw has hit the floor. Then a bit of rapping over piano of all things and then holy mother of God there goes my neighbor’s windows when the sub vibrates the whole house onto the next block and that’s why it’s called “Shadow Boxing”. Another great riff on “In Blood” and we are now entering classic album territory.
“Chronos” reminds me of Iron Maiden at first. This is my favorite track on the album, this is melodic, heavy and gets every bone on your body rattling. The end is near and the “The Colour Of Leaving” is where we leave this immense album. A softly sung vocal line over a picked guitar part, the vocal line full of emotion and despair as the cellos come in. Yes, I said cellos.
Final thoughts on Reverence
This is one of those holy crap moments where you realize that a band which usually screams the shit out of everything and decimates everything before it has made possibly the album of the year. Not possibly but definitely, this is going to be the one to beat. This is full of clever songwriting and shows what real musical passion does for a band when they take what they want not what they’re given. The spoken word intro and ending fits perfectly, the production is amazing, the songwriting, riffs, melodic structures of every track is a huge pat on the back for this band and all the Australian bands that they inspire to follow them.
Reverence is out now on the Epitaph label.