Sound — 9
I have listened to Parkway Drive since their first album, Killing with a smile, and have love all three albums to date, including their DVD, and Deep Blue, their latest studio effort. The unlikely producer on the album makes Deep Blue a different prospect, and I was a little sceptical at first, however from the first breakdown in the opening track Samsara (a largely instrumental one), I was blown away by the production, although, the drums are a little high in the mix! This is usually not the case though, and the album is an impressive effort. The sound of this album is different to the others, it feels more matured, developed, and being the first album in three years has probably influenced it, as the band have grown in popularity, experience etc.
Lyrics — 8
Winston McCall does well on this album, as in the previous efforts, however, some parts seem strained, also apparent in the other two records. The lyrics are good or 'meh' depending on the mood the listener is in! If original, unique and thought provoking lyrics are being searched for, not much of this album will be of use, but if some hard hitting, agression, passion is needed, this album suits very well. There is no doubt he is skilled, and gets better and better, and its very easy to feel some affinity with him. The guest vocalists add to two of the songs, but do not outclass Winston, just add another facet to the music. The music on this record shares the melodic nature of Killing with a smile, and the technicality of Horizons, but feels much more grounded. The grooves are simply huge, the breakdowns just as brutal, and the melodies just as... melodic, if less frequent.
Overall Impression — 9
Parkway drive are often placed in a genre with a hundred million other generic bands, and whilst I think they stand out, some will disagree. Although they play to largely a bunch of 'scene kids' they can appeal to anyone into metal, and Deep Blue puts them yet another notch above other 'similar' bands. The best songs (in my opinion obviously) are Deadweight, Pressures and Unrest, but they are all sterling efforts. I love the range of abilities that Parkway Drive show, and different styles, and the fist pumping adrenaline fueled songs (Home is for the heartless is notable from Deep Blue). Parkway are keeping it heavy, not forgetting who they are, but progressing and expanding in an impressive way, keep it up lads.