Parkway Drive - Deep Blue
Record Company: Epitaph Records/Resist Records
Release Date: June 29, 2010 (US)/June 25, 2010 (Australia)/June 28, 2010 (Europe)
When I reviewed Parkway Drive's last album, I stated that the album was purely for metal heads, and no one else. In fact, I found the record -- despite one of my favorites of 2007 -- to be nothing short of a typical metal album, albeit a very fun and entertaining one. Three years later, the band brings us Deep Blue, perhaps one of the most innovative records of the year. And one of the best of the year, at that. Where Horizons was safe and somewhat predictable, Deep Blue is risky and full of spunk. The band takes a step away from their comfort zone, and it's the right move.
"Samsara" is an interesting opener, appearing at first to be a mellow typical intro track before exploding into an onslaught of vocal and guitar work. "Sleepwalker" -- the album's first single and first video (bad ass video too; I suggest watching it if you haven't) -- bleeds old Parkway Drive, taking me back to the days of Killing With a Smile, which is completely fine by me. Songs like "Wreckage", "Alone" and "Deliver Me" have just the right amount of catchy riffs and interesting changes to make them standout tracks, indeed. In fact, most of the album is an interesting change. "Home is For the Heartless" is like nothing the band has ever done before, including some clean vocals from Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph Records creator Brett Gurewitz. This song is so dark and it's just catchy as hell. It may just be the best track on the album.
The guitar work on the album is better than ever. Jeff Ling and Luke Kilpatrick have never thrived so much off of each other. They just bleed chemistry. Songs like the aforementioned "Alone" and "Home is For the Heartless" are the best proof of this. Ben Gordon's drumming has gotten more consistent and solid. Winston McCall's growls are darker than ever and filled with emotion. His pain when he screams lyrics like "If home is where the heart is/Why do I feel so fucking heartless?" seems real rather than forced; legitimate rather than fake and cheesy.
Overall, the album is one of the best of the year. Rather than staying in their fortress of comfort and releasing another album exactly the same as their last, the band jumps into a creative talent that I knew was there, but didn't know was so present and strong. And let's face it: part of the reason for that is picking up Joe Barresi as producer. His production allows the band to step off on their own and thrive. Goodbye, Adam D. Your work was decent, but you did your job and now it's time to go. But still, a lot of the credit goes to the band and their ability. They have not only raised the bar, they have set the standard.
definitely one of my top 10 albums of the year. its not that i cant stop listening to it, its that i dont want to stop listening to it. Deliver Me is my favorite track on the cd. it's so powerful and listening to i feel something different that i dont get with any other Parkway Drive songs. at first i liked the 2nd half of the cd more, but the more i listened to it, the cd as a whole grew to me even more and now i have to say both halves are excellent. fantastic job guys. COME TO CT! (warped tour doesnt count)
I loved "Killing with a Smile" but thought their last album kinda sucked. "Deep Blue" is amazing! I cannot stop listening to it. Definitely the best metalcore band in Australia and glad to see they are getting good recognition around the world. Watch their DVD if you want a good laugh.
I love this album. Every part about it. The fact that they used a different Producer for a change of sound and pace was brilliant. The result equals a much more raw album, which is perfect for Parkway! :D