My journey into the world of Parkway Drive started with “Reverence” in 2018 and backwards I went.
“Ire” came out in 2016. It’s their fifth album, but the second album I’d heard from em. It went to Number 1 on the Aussie Charts and the U.S Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums chart.
The band for the album is Winston McCall on lead vocals, Jeff Ling on lead guitar, Luke “Pig” Kilpatrick on rhythm guitar, Jia “Pie” O’Connor on bass and Ben “Gaz” Gordon on drums.
The label even invested in a vocal coach for Winston McCall to increase his melodic skills as he’s already well known for this guttural vocals.
From listening to “Reverence” first and going back to “Ire”, it’s safe to say that this album was the start of the Hard Rock and Classic Metal tunes this band fine tuned with “Reverence”.
This fusion of Nu-Metal, Thrash Metal, Classic Metal, Power Metal, Hard Rock ad Death Metal is not meant to go together and work, but it does and it works very well.
A repeating guitar lick starts the album. Its low, it build in intensity and it’s a lick that the crowd could sing-along with along with the “Destroy” vocal chant. But this section wouldn’t work without the rhythm and drum work. It’s thunderous and like a military march.
Once the main riff comes in, its melodic and heavy at the same time. If you grew up on a diet of hard rock, then this riff would fit the criteria.
Dying To Believe
Any song that starts with the lyric, “like dragging nails through my skin” is going to be fast and aggressive. And that’s exactly how it plays it in the blast beat intro.
Sitting at 52.7 million streams on Spotify. The video clip on YouTube has 23 million views.
Another sing-along guitar riff to start the song and a Chorus you can chant along to with the “Yeah, yeah, yeah” vocals.
Musically, it’s a hard rock song and I’m picking up the guitar after I finish this post to learn it.
There is a “Rise” chant section, which reminds me of the “Die” section from “Creeping Death”.
Religious chants give way to “tear the throat box out” vocals and riffs which are too good to not listen to regardless of your preference for vocal styles.
The section from the 40 second mark to 1.01. Press play for that, just to hear how the religious chants work with heavy music.
Or stick around from 3.26 onwards, just to hear the guitar melody under the vocals which could have come from an Iron Maiden album.
But the overall style of the track is Nu-Metal. Weird I know, but it works.
The riffs remind me so much of the 80’s and Pantera’s first two albums.
But press play for the Chorus guitar melodies and “wooahs”.
Check out the section from 3.30 as it slows down and then builds back up. As soon as the guitar lead lets loose for the last 30 seconds of the song, someone decided to fade out the song. Nooooo.
Writings On The Wall
The drum groove is like “We Will Rock You”, so you hear McCall carrying the vocal over a bed of ominous piano notes, synths, bass and abstract guitar lines.
“Put your hands up, put your hands up, we’ll fight until we die, this ain’t ever gonna stop”, whispers McCall in true spirit of the 80’s ethos like “Stand Up And Shout”, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “Bang Your Head”.
Then at 2.30, the song kicks in with some metal like riffage.
At 2.55, my favourite melodic riff from the album kicks in. And the song ends with the haunting piano lines heard throughout the song.
There are so many riffs that people will class as hair metal in this song. But it’s all Metal to me. It’s one of the heaviest tracks and catchiest.
The Sound Of Violence
The intro riff gets me to pay attention and the breakdown Chorus would work well in the live arena.
Musically, this song has some serious hard rock cred. Even Metallica “Black” album era.
I feel like I’m listening to a Killswitch Engage tune on this.
Stick around for the breakdown at the end.
A Deathless Song
Acoustic guitars with a fusion of flamenco vibes and baroque start the song. But at 0.44, those iconic sing-along melodic leads kick in.
And those melodic sing-along leads are heard throughout the song, especially in the last minute outro, as they give way to the same riffs, but played with violins.
In the end it’s a “hard core hard rock” album, Somehow it makes perfect sense.
Check it out.