After creating an exceptional album with ‘Deep Blue’ expectations are high for Parkway Drive‘s November 2012 full length release ‘Atlas‘. Having such a large and passionate fan-base, Parkway Drive could put out a duff record and it still be widely adored, but there is no need for concern as the Australian quintet have yet again composed an astounding record.
Despite moving away from the completely conceptual approach of ‘Deep Blue’, Parkway Drive stick to the same format as other releases and open with an instrumental piece that slowly builds expectation when dark lyrics capture attention. Anticipation is intensely hanging in the air as ‘Old Ghosts / New Regrets’ roars into action with a driven speed that demands a mosh-pit to open.
Noting the success of the anthemic ‘Home Is For The Heartless’ from their last album, Parkway Drive have offered a few more dramatic and powerful moments which will surely cause unity at a live show. ‘The River’ and ‘Wild Eyes’ could easily fill a stadium whilst title-track ‘Atlas’ includes some exciting moments that reflect Bleeding Through’s orchestral approach.
If old-school, meaty Parkway Drive riffs are what you are crave there are still several tracks that cater for those hungry needs including ‘Sleigh of Hand’ which hosts licks similar to ‘Idols And Anchors’. And for those after a fast-paced assault on the ears, look no further than one of the closing tracks ‘Snake Oil And Holy Water’ which is sure to rip a new one into any venue.
As a whole ‘Atlas’ encompasses the true essence of what every fan loves about Parkway Drive. It could be seen as a more polished version of ‘Killing With A Smile’ whilst embracing the mature moments of ‘Deep Blue’.
Parkway Drive aren’t doing anything unconventional, they aren’t re-writing metalcore; they are continuing to define it. Each album the band produce develops over time as a milestone in the genre, in a few years time ‘Atlas’ will be reflected upon in the same inspiring light as all of their other works. Ultimately, Parkway Drive continue to set the standard in metalcore, a marker in musical excellence that very few others will reach.
Words: Emma Wallace