Sound — 7
This summer, Australian Metalcore band Parkway Drive released their third full-length album, Deep Blue. The release, which follows after the band's 2007 release Horizons, once again brings back the imagery of the ocean through song titles and concepts. This 13 song album pulls no punches right from the beginning. It unleashes every bit of heavy riffing and breakdowns straight from the get go, but this time, the band decided to play in Drop-A, instead of Drop-B as on their previous albums. This change in tuning is immediately noticeable by the first breakdown of the album, and keeps a very heavy feel throughout. The only issue I find with the sound of this album is that it doesn't sound as crisp to me as Horizons did. It has a very muddy sound throughout most of it, a bad change from the cleanliness of the previous album.
Lyrics — 7
As I stated before, the lyrics hold to Parkway's concept of oceans, started on Horizons. On the whole, the lyrics on this album are nothing different than those on their previous releases, or even any metalcore band's releases. This is not an insult at all, they are pretty good lyrics, I just wish that there would be more creativity in the writing process. As for the vocals on the album, they are straight in line with anything you'd expect from Parkway. Winston's deep, throaty screams compliment the music perfectly, though the track, "Pressures" was a large turn off for me. The intro screaming, while I understand what the band was going for, sounded to me like a really bad demo recorded in someone's bathroom.
Overall Impression — 7
Deep Blue, all together is a pretty good album, but I expected much more from the band after hearing Horizons. Parkway lives up to their reputation of bringing extremely heavy breakdowns and pretty good riffing to the table, but the guitar sound, to me, could have been much better. My pick for best track? Deadweight: this song starts off slow, with what I feel like is a very Papa Roach-esque hammer-on/pull-off opening, but by tthe time the 30 second marker hits, it busts out of the gates with one of the best riffs I've heard in a long time. The others on the album are decent, but I feel that Deadweight is by far the best track on the album. All in all, Deep Blue is great for a listen through, once or twice. It just does not compare with the replay value of Horizons. If this album were stolen/lost, I wouldn't buy it again, I'd probably just download it.