Taken from the Byron Bay crew’s upcoming new album Reverence, Wishing Wells broods with a darkness that demands immediate attention. The band have gone through hardship, they’ve seen their world fall apart and now they’re channeling their emotions into music that is both barbarically furious and ultra-compelling.
Parkway have so much faith in this absolute banger that they usually save it until the end of their live sets these days. Bottom Feeder became one of the standout moments on 2015 album Ire, not only because it resonated with fans, but for the cathartic explosion it invokes within their ranks onstage. All in all it’s the perfect soundtrack to the total and utter bedlam of those final moments during the band’s notoriously fun live shows.
As Dedicated builds, frontman Winston McCall cries out ‘Unbreakable!’ just before the song’s climatic, anarchic close and holy shit is it good. While Ire saw the band broaden the scope of their sound, this track is an old-fashioned Parkway sternum buster. Approach with caution.
2013’s Atlas is a masterclass in the art of all things heavy, but the main riff in Wild Eyes is one that has been roared at the top of people’s lungs for the last half decade. While it transfixes, the mid-song breakdown when Winston growls ‘Before the underdogs, blergh!’ incites a level of fury that makes you feel almost sorry for the fretboards, not to mention the power pumping through that kick-drum.
A stark reminder that humanity is inflicting a damaging and lasting impact on the natural world, as plastic falls into the oceans, trees topple and greenhouse gases exhume the atmosphere. Drawing upon their anger and disgust, Parkway here channel their message with a breakdown so mighty, that played at the right volume, could shatter the earth’s crust and unleash all kinds of hellish beings. Probably.
A track that’s a permanent fixture in the band’s live sets and also the fastest Parkway Drive song in their arsenal, which encourages outright carnage everywhere its played. Good luck trying to sing it while moshing, mind. It’s not possible. Unless you like being out of puff and only getting every other word out.
In the video for this, the band clearly have enough of creating havoc on land, so they grab their instruments – and surfboards – and give the aquatic world a taste of their ballsy, all-out metal ragers. Sharks, dolphins and sea turtles all come together to create whirlpools in the ocean and have a lovely time. Well, not really, but you get the point.
Oh, so you think your song has huge chugging riffs in it? Bet it hasn’t got anything on this beast. Brooding and building like the anger inside Bruce Banner, when it kicks in it’s like The Incredible Hulk himself has smashed his way through an entire festival field just to throw down in the pit.
DEAD MAN’S CHEST
Named after the second offering in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movie franchise, Parkway Drive teamed up with producer and Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz to make sweet, sweet metalcore monsters. There’s a real sense that this track was crafted with live shows in mind, considering the slow build transitioning into lightning-fast breakdowns, tailor-made for getting down and dirty.
Arguably one of Parkway’s heaviest songs, listening to this will make you want to go to your local forest and rip down trees with your bare hands. Lifted from 2007 full-length Horizons, it set Parkway Drive on a trajectory that would catapult them towards the upper echelons of metal’s elite where they reside today. Boneyards encapsulates everything that this quintet are all about.
GIMME A D
2005 debut album, Killing With A Smile, gave Parkway Drive the chance to show off their brand of brilliantly crafted metalcore, with Gimme A D busting down the door with all the subtlety you’d expect from a band this young and full of piss and vinegar. It’s a kick to the teeth, with brutally charged riffs and breakdowns dirtier than a London Underground tube chair.
ROMANCE IS DEAD
Even in their nascent, developmental stages you could already tell that Parkway were destined for great things. Listening to this with hindsight provides conclusive evidence of just how frighteningly good they were right from the start. Albeit still very raw, their desire and talent was simply undeniable.
Words: James Hingle
Parkway Drive’s documentary Viva The Underdogs captures the band in all of their fiery, explosive glory, cementing their status as one of metal’s most cherished and successful live forces. Before they could ride this wave, however, frontman Winston McCall reflects on how it used to be wipeout after wipeout…
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