Review PARKWAY DRIVE ‘Darker Still’

Even at this year’s Wacken Festival, fans were still talking about the legendary performance of Parkway Drive in 2019. This brilliant performance remained in the memory of each of those present, before the pandemic a few months later put everything on stop.

It was also a bit calmer as far as the Australians were concerned. A planned US tour had to be postponed and to keep up the live feeling for fans the mentioned Wacken concert was released as a DVD under the name ‘Viva the Underdogs’.

At least there was enough time in the past years of global standstill to work on new songs. The result of this effort now hits the record stores and is titled ‘Darker Still’; an album with eleven songs covering the entire range of the Australians’ sound and also offering something new. Parkway Drive’s seventh album is certainly their most multi-layered album and what started as pure metalcore presents itself in the meantime more versatile and varied with many nuances and twists.

Just listen to the dark, depressive and at the same time angry ‘Land of the Lost’. The quintet offers up the full range of their sound. In slow to moderate tempo, the song bulldozes everything that comes in its way. Also the title track should also be mentioned. While one would expect a massive metalcore attack from the album’s name-giver, the song points in the exact opposite direction. ‘Darker Still’ is a ballad-like track that stands out from the rest of the album. The full range of emotions is brought up here, with a focus on the dark side of the world of souls. In the second half, the song gets louder and gains energy, but without exploding. The basic pattern remains.

In contrast, there are songs like ‘Like Napalm’ with a throbbing rhythm. The aggressive ‘Soul Bleach’ refers to the roots of the band, while the hypnotic ‘If a God Can Bleed’ immediately pulls the listener into its spell.

Those who have packed Parkway Drive into the metalcore box so far should take a listen to ‘Darker Still’. There is a big chance that the existing point of view will be partly revised since the sound of the Australians includes much more. Parkway Drive offers on their seventh album a wide portfolio of sounds and songs, which have their roots in metalcore, but in the meantime are much broader. ‘Darker Still’ is a massive album, a musical eruption whose thundering echo will be heard for a long time, even if the last notes of ‘From the Heart of the Darkness’ have long faded away.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Ground Zero
  2. Like Napalm
  3. Glitch
  4. The Greatest Fear
  5. Darker Still
  6. Imperial Heretic
  7. If a God Can Bleed
  8. Soul Bleach
  9. Stranger
  10. Land of the Lost
  11. From the Heart of the Darkness

Label: Epitaph/Indigo

Genre: Metalcore

Release Date EU: September 9th, 2022

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