Fans of the hardcore spectrum yet consistently pegged as metalcore, Parkway Drive have never been considered an outright metal band. However, with latest endeavour Deep Blue, they just might be responsible for blurring that thin, thin line to an incredibly indiscernible extent.
Slipping further down the slope of heaviness, this third effort finds the Aussie crew bastardizing their beloved New York hardcore inspired by the likes of Agnostic Front and Sick Of It All’s patient thunder. While those elements still form the foundation of these 13 songs, there is a decidedly bleaker, blacker element to what unfolds. Pulling in the thick abrasiveness of Gothenburg’s intermediate years, aspects of pre-frilly In Flames and Soilwork shine through obvious black metal grit and a general sense that Entombed has taken over vocalist Winston McCall’s stereo as of late.
Still, before the band is sucked into that vortex—wonderful as it is—the influx of emotional lyrics and offset raspy screeches ensure there is an element of diversity and dynamic temperament to Deep Blue.
From “Unrest,” with its raucous, embittered attack to “Wreckage,” (a piece which features some guitar dexterity that both Carcass and ’90s-era Napalm Death would be proud of) and the staccato grunt/blast beats of “Leviathan,” the brutality and explosive anger of Deep Blue is stunning; a viciously cathartic release the likes of Cursed, Tragedy, Terrorizer and even Cannibal Corpse could be proud of, possibly even inspired by. Not bad for a bunch of dudes weighed down by erroneous tags and fruity label mates.