With lead single ‘Vice Grips’ hitting panic buttons the world over earlier this year with its shiny six string charm and arena friendly chorus, fears that ‘Ire’ would represent something of a radical departure from Parkway Drive‘s pummeling metallic blueprint looked be realized in a flagrant shower of glam rock sheen.
It would be fair to say that the Byron Bay five piece were nigh on unrecognizable, and so it is with a hefty sigh of relief that the reality of their fifth full length offering proves to gallantly strip away the bands metalcore shackles with a fearless display of dynamic about-turns, strident experimentation and riotous circle pit savagery, feeling most crucially of all like a natural evolution rather than commercial cash grab, and unmistakably Parkway Drive.
Indeed, for all the caution thrown to the wind here, ‘Ire’ manages to thrum with an underlying muscularity which sees any grumbles of ‘compromise’ quickly quashed. Glistening Iron Maiden-esque leads (‘Destroyer’, ‘Vicious’) collide with the fearsome rhythmic assault of the likes ‘Dying To Believe’, huge trad-metal histrionics throughout and the low-swung bounce of Korn/RATM et al all making for a veritable revolution in Parkway‘s outlook, re-invigorating their sound whilst impossibly sacrificing none of that traditional core aggression.
Highlights sit around every corner, the terrifying club swinging clout of ‘Crushed’, ‘Writing On The Wall’‘s piano led stomp and a stunning first foray into ballad territory with closer ‘A Deathless Song’, all flamenco guitar flourishes and chest beating hooks, barely scratching the surface of ‘Ire’‘s creative spectacle. Simply put, this is a record which sees Parkway Drive at the zenith of their powers, exploiting the breadth of heavy music old and new and delivering a clutch of songs which transcend everything we would believe them capable of. Ludicrously exciting stuff.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)