Release Date: Oct 30, 2012
Record label: Epitaph
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Australian metalcore group Parkway Drive return from the raw production of their controversial 2010 album Deep Blue with the more adventurous and nuanced follow-up, Atlas. Some fans and critics squabbled over Deep Blue's intent and production. The songs trudged on full-bore for most of the record's duration, relying heavily on chunky breakdowns and production so guitar-centric it obscured a lot of finer sonic points completely.
In the time since my somewhat dubious review of Deep Blue, it seems that Parkway Drive not only decided to return to their trademark sound, but also chose to do everything possible to make it better. Their newest album, Atlas, sees a reinvigorated Parkway Drive once again treading the thin line between deathcore and metalcore, while finding every conceivable way to add subtle elements of progression to their sound. Atlas is probably the most diverse album the band has ever written, with background symphonic elements, thrash influence, acoustic interludes and enough hardcore attitude to satisfy the most stubborn moshers out there.
Album No. 4 finds this Australian quintet back at its old tricks. The 12 tracks here only occasionally stray from the now-patented metalcore formula, with plenty of gang vocals, melodic riffs, and uninspired mosh parts; headbangers tired of the standardization of metalcore will just find more reason to feel weary. But Parkway Drive do manage to make the mundane memorable with some strong songwriting.