It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s different and it’s good

Parkway Drive have conquered both local and overseas music markets like few bands before them but a couple of moments on Atlas aside, they’ve been creatively lazy.

Being the astute young men they are, they’ve come to realise that after a decade of playing pretty much the same thing it’s time to really expand their horizons. Unlike that band with ‘horizon’ in their name, however, Parkway Drive have maintained the venom and heaviness of previous releases and merely channeled them in a different way. Indeed, Ire isn’t just a title – rage informs the entire album but, because this is Parkway Drive, it’s a mature society-directed anger and not the confused angst of their many imitators. Framing this anger in a variety of guises instead of their earlier, rather one-dimensional style makes it that much more potent.

For every patented breakdown fuelled thumper like ‘Dedicated’, there’s a track like first single ‘Vice Grip’ that has them dabbling in anthemic stadium-metal, the opener ‘Destroyer’ that takes a leaf out of melo-death’s book with harmonised guitars riding a crushing, no-prisoners riff, Winston’s vocals an angry roar, and ‘Writings on the Wall’, plodding along over a fragmented piano melody. There’s rousing chants, arena-friendly chorus hooks, some decent leads and much less reliance on breakdowns. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s different and it’s good, even if there are moments where it feels more like a compilation album. This is Parkway’s first attempt at such variation though, so that can be forgiven.

It would have been easy for them to just trot out another album that sounded like Deep Blue, but as the audience that grew up with them starts to look for more in the music they listen to than bog-simple mosh-pit grooves, now is the perfect time for Parkway Drive to give it to them – and they haven’t done too badly.

1. Destroyer
2. Dying to Believe
3. Vice Grip
4. Crushed
5. Fractures
6. Writings on the Wall
7. Bottom Feeder
8. The Sound of Violence
9. Vicious
10. Dedicated
11. A Deathless Song