Sound — 8
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.
Lyrics — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 7
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.