Australian metalcore act Parkway Drive have taken more risks with ‘Reverence’, the sixth release from the group that has them dragging the subgenre kicking and screaming towards wider influences and bigger choruses.
This is not to say the group has lost their bite. ‘Reverence’ is packed with shattering breakdowns and blistering riffs whilst double kick patterns force their way through the mix.
Taking cues from their previous record ‘Ire’, melodic death metal influences are firmly present with guitarist Jeff Ling flying over the fret board on tracks such as ‘Cronos’. The solo is melodic yet commanding with bends, legato runs, and tapping techniques showcased within a matter of seconds.
What makes the section stand out, alongside the reason as to why the record packs a punch, is the dynamic journey the group takes you on. Behind the technical feats displayed by each member is a solid foundation of instruments accenting notes, dropping out of the mix and re-appearing at just the right moments.
Winston McCall channels a variety of influences throughout the album, ranging from near rapped vocals and whispered passages, the latter shown to be extremely effective in ‘Shadow Boxing’. The diversity within the vocal range on the album sits perfectly alongside McCall‘s trademark growls, which are still ever present.
The record plays as a perfect introduction to the group, with percussive riffs at a chaotic pace to be found on ‘In Blood’ harking back to earlier releases to more experimental efforts as shown on ‘Cemetery Bloom’. The track itself is unassuming at first, coming across as a slow burning ballad, working with minimal instrumentation and playing with tension and release. As the track progresses, sharp violins add intensity before all previous elements of the track congeal into a squealing halt.
As the group hurtle through multiple influences, some tracks do fall victim to similar song structures, but in saying this, each track still has more twists and turns packed into it to keep you in the pit.
For an album influenced by loss, it is fitting that ‘The Colour Of Leaving’ finishes the experience. As the track reaches its coda, all instruments decay and we’re left with McCall reciting a brutally honest monologue.
Ending with the lines “And as the colour leaves the sky, we’re left in the reverence of the frailty of it all”, the group finishes the record perfectly.