UG Team, on october 11, 2007 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: If you get bored with the same old format in your rock songs, Parkway Drive's latest release Horizons could be considered a feast for the ears. The band doesn't hesitate to go in several very different musical sections within the course of one song, which can be a good and bad thing. Apparently the Australian quintet wanted to step up everything -- from the heaviness to the speed on the album, and they haven't disappointed in those areas. Each song has multiple sections that just seem to get more intense as they go along, and the guitar work is without a doubt the strong point in every one. The songs are hard to digest upon first listen, primarily because the sections don't always fit seamlessly together. And as cool as they sound independently, it's hard to hear the cohesiveness from the start.
The band recruited Killswitch Engage's Adam Dutkiewicz as producer on Horizons, and he did help shape a very polished album in terms of the sound. There is a lot of distortion and crunch in every song, and it comes through beautifully (or brutally, depending on how you look at it). Parkway Drive has a lot of interesting ideas with their music, but at times you almost feel bombarded. Metalcore bands aren't striving to deliver the next Top 40 single, but it would have been great to hear a few more songs like Frostbite, which put as much emphasis on melody as it did intensity/speed.
Breaking Point represents a high point on the record, with insanely good riffs that pop up throughout the record. There are multiple sections to the song, and there is a distinct and enjoyable hook featured in pretty much every one. Even better, Parkway Drive throws in a traditional, melodic solo in the middle of Breaking Point. I'm not sure whether it was Jeff Ling or Luke Kilpatrick behind the solo, but whoever it is, they rock. Musically the solo has very little cohesion to the rest of the song, but it makes for one of several interesting guitar parts within the whole.
Vocally Winston McCall rarely leaves a growl state, which adds to the aggression of it all. While some metalcore bands balance things out with a clean, melodic singer, there is really none of that to be found in Parkway Drive. It can get a bit much, if only because all of the other instruments take breathers from the distorted, gritty style during the album. McCall doesn't really bend vocally, which can be a drawback if you like a bit more variety in the singing department. // 8
Lyrics: Because of the brief bursts in which Winston McCall delivers his vocals, usually each lyrical line is short and punchy. Because of this, the songs actually feel a lot like a free verse poetry at times, only with a more violent touch. Idols And Anchors reflects that style when McCall sings, Now you're heroes have fallen; Champion mess; The seas are rising. The general format is interesting and definitely adds something different when the lyrics on Horizons might not be the most original. // 7
Overall Impression: The main issue at hand with Horizons is that it will take a while to digest. There is so much going on that it almost feels like each track has about 10 songs within it. The multiple breakdowns on the album are cool to listen to in terms of the instrumentation that is going on within them, even if they don't necessarily transition smoothly. But if you are a fan of a more complex blend of metalcore, Parkway Drive will keep you interested.
Just as they planned, the guys in Parkway Drive have added a lot of intensity and speed to Horizons. It's hard to deny the talent of guitarists Ling and Kilpatrick, not to mention the double-bass pedal skills of Ben Gordon. There are so many riffs that it will take more than a few listens to digest it all, and Horizons is likely to be one of those albums that needs more than a few listens to fully appreciate. // 8
pengudapenguin, on october 11, 2007 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Parkway Drive's second full-length album titled "Horizons" is a masterpiece in the metalcore genre of music. The bands sound has not greatly differed from the fast-paced, heavily distorted and overall brutal sound of their previous album "Killing with a Smile" except for a noticeable change in the vocals as well as a marked improvement in the technical side of things in the recording studio. The riffs are brilliant and ingenious, they never seem repetitive. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are what you would expect from Parkway Drive and rather cliche, basically a follow-on from "Killing With A Smile" with talk about despair and angst. One highlight of the album was the change in the vocals which seem so much deeper and fuller, one of the first impressions was this guy really knows how to scream and growl! The lyrics fit perfectly with the music as do the vocals.
01. Begin - personally I'm not a fan of adding these short instrumentals anywhere on an album but I guess this gives the album a kind of epic feel.
02. The Siren's Song - one of the better songs on the album with awesome riffs and this is where you really notice the changes in the vocals and his growl. I was slightly disappointed with this song being in a loosely verse-chorus form but was surprised with the great chorus.
03. Feed Them To The Pigs - a great fast paced song that doesn't really slow down till the very end.
04. Carrion - one of my favorites on the album, vocally superb and great chorus.
05. Five Months - a awesome riff followed by some great vocals.
06. Boneyards - this was the first song released on Parkway's MySpace if I'm not mistaken and I didn't necessarily like it then but it grows on you after a few listens.
07. Idols And Anchors - one of the better songs on the album with a crappy beginning but soon changes with a high-pitched scream into something hardcore. The chorus made me want to reach for the guitar and play, the lyrics are in perfect harmony with the music.
08. Moments Of Oblivion - a short kind of interlude but with some background vocals and great guitar (reached for the guitar again). I usually detest these interludes but this one I enjoyed.
09. Breaking Point - this song really picks up the pace, and has one of Parkways rare solo's. The lyrics are great, I still have the lyrics in my head 2 weeks onwards.
10. Dead Man's Chest - could probably be compared to Mutiny (maybe because of the pirate imagery. Very brutal and alive and a great song.
11. Frostbite - one of my favorites again, awesome beginning and they carry this out through the whole song. One the best chorus's and one of the rare songs where he does some talking.
12. Horizons - a wonderful song to end in, starts with some picking and can basically be summed up with the imagery in the word Horizons. // 9
Overall Impression: These guys from Byron Bay have a unique skill to be able to add just enough variation to stop it from being repetitive but still get your heart going. Parkway Drive have proved they are one of the worlds best metalcore bands with "Horizons" and most certainly Australia's best. With ever listen you start to pick up more of the lyrics and notice the beautifully brutal riffs (I did 17 listens of the album in 2days, don't worry I'm getting treatment). I downloaded this album in full and in great quality over a month before it's actual release but I will also buy it, if it where to be stolen I would track down the culprit and sodomize them, don't worry I'm getting treatment. I recommend this album for any fan of metal or hardcore or metalcore but make sure to give it a few listens before you judge it because it takes a while to get over the feeling that the guitarist is strumming all the strings open as fast and hard as he can. // 10
SinisterScythe, on december 17, 2007 2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: My impression of this band is outstanding amazing, when I first heard these guys I quickly fell in great deeply in love with them, they have the most amazing vocals and sounding ever! Different variations and variety's of sounds and riff's. Different drum parts, Clean and screaming vocals! It's all in this band here, unlike other bands there all the same no, parkway drive and the new CD! Is like amazing all together. The best album by them yet. // 10
Lyrics: Lyrics have a lot of meaning in them if you are a type of person who listens to the lyrics, Which everyone should. The lyrics have somewhat explicit lyrics. The Compliance with the music here in Parkway Drive Horizons, is like no other different lyric writing and style for this band unlike some others. The singer skills is outstanding I have never heard the best scream from these guys, he has so much talent I am so proud to have got this CD. // 10
Overall Impression: If you compare they kinda sound like beneath the sky in a way but not that much, most impressive about this album is the new sound and style and song writing skills they use. I love how they use different variety in there work and they actually take the time to write different riffs. I dislike nothing! This album is perfect the best ever! If it was stolen dude heck yes I would buy a new one! // 10
12shinn21, on october 11, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Parkway Drive, what some would call the epitome of the Australian metalcore genre, deliver all that is to be expected of such a band, fast riffs, insane drumming and huge breakdowns. After listening to the progression of the band from the EP's through to Killing With A Smile, Horizons is exactly what you would expect, which is both good and bad. It's good just to hear some new material and there a couple of really good songs, but there are also moments in songs which are terribly reminiscent of previous material. The quality of the riffs has definitely increased, but are occasionally repetitive, and Winston's vocals as always are close to immaculate. The breakdowns were disappointing for me as there is only one that really stands out, the very end of The Siren's Song. I liked the fact that they used the guitars more melodically than on previous records. I was saddened by the almost complete lack of classic lyrical moments (so cry me a f--king river, bitch, etc). The songs that I liked and why.
The Siren's Song - easily one of the best tracks off the album. Everyone raves about the intro purely for it's speed, but I like it for when the rhythm comes in beneath, sounds really good. Best lyrics off the album for me, and the best breakdown at the end.
Carrion - another great song, purely for the chorous.
Boneyards - the single off the album, it's a good quality typical Parkway Song complete with one of the aforementioned classic lyrical moments plus huge breakdwon. Listen to the guest solo at the start, interested to see if they play it live.
Horizons - acoustic intro, epic sounding lyrics and some nice melodic guitar work. A decent rhythm section I liked late in the song.
The only song that annoys me is Dead Man's Chest, for the intro. It's the same as Mutiny off KWAS heaps of people loved it but I just never got why. I loved Killing with a smile for how it made me feel listening to it. Certain songs made me flow from anger to awe to pure energy with it's amazing riffs and breakdowns. From this record only a few songs inspire that in me, and for that it disappoints me. // 8
Lyrics: When I opened the CD on the way home and began to read the lyrics I was surprised at the quality. Previous Parkway records have been pretty simple lyrically but reading the lyrics I was very interested. Much better use of metaphors, with a dominant oceanic/global warming seas rising theme. Plenty of the classic "Winston getting angry at people" theme. Best lyrics came from the Siren's Song where he likens "The Siren's Song" to the effects of drugs, where if you try to reach it you could get smashed on the rocks. Vocals fit in well with the music, and no comment needs to be made on Winston's skills as a vocalist. // 9
Overall Impression: When I heard the title and saw the album artwork I expected a more artisitc attempt at metalcore, and was keen to hear the title track. I thought it was good but it didn't live up to what I had hoped. Killing With a Smile is one of my favourite albums and I think Horizons doesn't come close to it, but in it's own right Horizons is a quality record. In other words if you're only going to get one Parkway album, get Killing With A Smile for sure. If it were stolen or lost I probably wouldn't buy it again. Overall, I think it's a solid record but they've done better. // 7
Revenger#11, on december 16, 2008 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Parkway Drive, the ruthless Australian hardcore unit and arguably the best produced by the country return to the stage to try and top their first full length, Killing With A Smile. Not an easy task by any means but Parkway Drive have managed to create an Australian Hardcore masterpiece with Horizons. Parkway have created brutal, crushing breakdowns and riffs as well as melodic leads and an impressive rhythm section. Production is amazing but when Adam D is involved, you can hardly be surprised. Some of the melodic leads and solos rarely seen by Parkway really show the talents of Jeff Ling and Luke Kilpatrick ( guitarists). Bass is non existent but the Double Bass of drummer Jeff Gordon definitely makes an impact. Vocals hardly stray away from the typical metal core growl but Winston McCall executes them so well, if it ain't broke don't fix it. // 7
Lyrics: Lyrics seem to talk about the end of the world/global warming/the apocalypse mostly which a few tracks branching out from the normal. Winston's scream is one of the best I have heard in Metal core. It is low and he has a nice growl but he is totally decipherable. On songs like Carrion, he almost adopts a clean scream because every word is crystal clear, like he is just singing it.
Carrion: in a moment I'm lost. Dying from the inside. Her eyes take me away. Tear me apart from the inside out. I think the best lyrics in relation to music is in the title track.
In time. And so it ends. In time it all finds an End. Embrace our last empty horizon.
Underneath those lyrics there is a huge tapping line followed by harmonized leads which just screams as the Epic album closer. // 8
Overall Impression: Parkway Drive is not the most original act but they have a lot of talent and are really trying to branch out in a somewhat generic genre where bands are dime a dozen. Some of the most impressive songs are: The Sirens Song, Carrion, Five Months, Breaking Point, Frostbite and Horizons. I love the vocals and the instrumental section of the bands ( and the non existent bass guitar). I love how the band pummels you to keep you interested, the don't give you a moment to breathe. But for some people this would be a turn off as well. Breakdowns sound the same-ish and the album is really short, clocking in at around 38-40 minutes. I would definitely buy this one again if I lost it as it will be haled as the best metal album Australia has produced. Rock On, Parkway Drive. // 8