This year sees Byron Bay beasts Parkway Drive add another link to their evolutionary chain with Reverence; possibly their most experimental studio album to date.
The follow up to the 2015 phenomenon that is Ire, sees the metalcore quintet push the boundaries they’ve been dancing on for the past couple of years and brings forward both familiar and new elements within its ten tracks. From Reverence’s first single ‘Wishing Wells’, Parkway Drive made clear that they were in no way going soft on us, delivering one of the heaviest closes to a track we’ve ever heard. Although with ‘The Void’, they retuned the melodic strings we saw showcased on ‘Vice Grip’, reinforcing the idea that Parkway Drive enjoy creating new and interesting music, and it really shows.
The most recent and final pre-release single ‘Prey’ is again very at home in Parkway’s experimental realm. Housing one of the records catchiest licks and a gang-vocal heavy chorus. ‘Prey’ is a stadium anthem, one that we can’t wait to experience live and get involved with.
So, new tracks, there’s a bunch of them.
Let’s start with ‘Absolute Power’. With Echoes of one of Parkway Drive’s self confessed inspirations, Rage Against The Machine, ‘Absolute Power’ arrives with a rib shattering bass line, and of course a thundering vocal performance by Winston McCall. One of Reverence’s most unique offspring is ‘Cemetery Bloom’. An atmospheric interlude packed with somber instrumentals, transcendent chants and clean vocals throughout. Here we see Parkway Drive fully out of the comfort zone, and absolutely owning it. This sound is new and fresh, and just excretes talent for lack of a better word.
‘I Hope You Rot’ and ‘Shadow Boxing’ are both admirable contenders for heaviest song on the record, although we’re going to have to give the top spot to ‘Chronos’. Both the longest and loudest track of the release, ‘Chronos’ is epic beyond comprehension. Although not face ripping from the off like previous efforts, ‘Chronos’ is layered, complex, and dare we say otherworldly. We love this band don’t get us wrong, but their music is the one making this gooey eyed waffle form in our collective mouth.
The album’s climax ‘The Colour Of Leaving’ is totally not what we expected, but it’s effective. With Winston McCall giving what sounds like a grief stricken spoken word farewell, we’re left wondering what kind of hurt went into the production of this record, it sure sounds painful. With a “lump in your throat“ feel throughout, it seems like real aguish was the spark behind Reverence? We’re sure we’ll find out in time.
The only way this album can be topped is to be experienced. We cannot wait for the rest of you to get your ears around Reverence.
Sure there will be those still lusting for Killing With A Smile 2.0. Fuck, we’ve seen plenty of cringe in comment sections on all platforms. Parkway Drive have so much more to give than just another metalcore record. This new shit is pure gold; it has been since 2015. Parkway Drive have far surpassed the standard heavy Warped Tour band, these guys deserve arenas as soon as possible. Parkway Drive has possibly one of the brightest future careers ahead of them above all else. Showing the initiative and desire to outgrow their origin is truly inspiring and best of all it pays off in a big way.
Reverence is out May 4th on Epitaph Records, but we know you all knew that already. One final well done to the lads, you smashed it.