Photo by Chiaki Nozu/Getty Images
In honour of one of Australia’s best-loved heavy music exports releasing their 6th studio album Reverence this Friday, we thought what better way to prepare ourselves for this all-out metalcore assault than to take a look back at the five very best songs the legendary Parkway Drive have offered up over the years.
We know, we know. It’s a tough ask, as their extensive back catalogue of brutality has yielded some of the most pit-friendly, bone-bruising anthems ever laid to tape, but you can’t please everybody and we know you don’t have all day, so we’ll keep it short and sweet (tl;dr amiright?).
From the band’s humble Byron Bay beginnings, to number one albums, and the stages of the world’s biggest heavy music festivals such as Download, Groezrock and Wacken Open Air, there is little doubt that people from all around the globe have fallen in love with Parkway Drive and their ever-engaging hooks and breakdown-laden riffage.
We could go on, but you know the story already, so let’s dive headfirst into the circle pit. Here are the top 5 songs by true blue Aussie champs Parkway Drive. Hang loose!
Righto, we know this one is going to ruffle some feathers and purists will argue that we’re wrong till the cows come home BUT we reckon this is a ripper tune, and it deserves your time of day. So controversial was it upon release that fans were questioning everything they thought they knew about the band and music they so loved. The catchy as hell, 80’s metal-inspired riffs give way to Parkway at their most experimental and broaching on as yet unexplored territory. As a long-time fan of the band, there is little doubt this song is a shock to the system. That’s fine though because if you’re still writing the same breakdown in 2018 as you did in 2006, you have other issues. Vice Grip is an infectious, genre-bending anthem which has seen fans singing along en masse to one of the catchiest choruses in the band’s repertoire. Sick video, too.
A vastly underrated concept album, Deep Blue was a step left of centre for the band, as super-producer Joe Barresi took the reins from Killswitch Engage’s Adam Dutkiewicz, who had been the chief artisan of the band’s sound across its two previous records. While it left some fans curious about the new direction, it holds true as one of the greatest metalcore albums ever made, and it gave us Sleepwalker as its first single. Honestly, this may be the grooviest riff the band has ever written and is the cause of many-a-broken nose thanks to the circle pit-inducing nature of this undeniably catchy song. The concept of the record is bound to its musical prowess and there isn’t another song on the album which encapsulates this quite like Sleepwalker, as we’re transported through a tale of man searching aimlessly for truth amongst the world. This is Parkway telling a story, and it is simply stunning.
If there were ever a moment Parkway Drive portrayed their ability to write epic, soaring heavy metal anthems worthy of every tingle sent down your spine, this is it. Horizons is the closing track of the band’s sophomore album of the same name and is the perfect ending to what many believe is their greatest body of work to date. Guitarist Jeff Ling rings in what remains, in my mind, one of the most beautiful, emotionally charged songs on the album and a melodic metalcore masterpiece. Stunning vocal arrangement, unhinged in its heaviness, and shrouded in mystique, Horizons yielded a new direction for Parkway Drive and its closing opus sits unbridled atop the pile as one of metalcore’s greatest genre-defining works.
Romance Is Dead
This song from Parkway’s debut LP Killing with a Smile remains a fan favourite, and kids are still throwing their backs out slam dancing to Romance Is Dead to this day. Rumbling guitars, growled vocals from the depths of hell and rolling blast beats pummel towards one of the heaviest breakdowns you’re ever likely to hear. “…so cry me a fucking river, BITCH!” bellows McCall as this song hurtles towards its inevitable culmination, with ambient guitars allowing its listener a very brief moment of reprieve amidst the chaos. Parkway have come a long way since then, but this track still manages to get to people on a level most others can’t and even thirteen years later, we find ourselves ever-immersed in its violent, jaded messages of loathing and hatred. The perfect breakup jam!
No way were we leaving this beauty off the list. The crème de la crème of Parkway Drive’s arsenal is seldom (if ever?) left off any of the band’s live setlists, and is an undisputed crowd favourite, sending fans into hysterics every single time without fail. There is simply no denying the ferocious delivery of this standout track and it remains perfect in its execution, both lyrically and instrumentally. Epic singalong choruses give way to monstrous riffs and a breakdown to die for, effectively rendering this the highlight of any live show you’re lucky enough to see. You may be of the belief that Horizons was ahead of its time and that may well be true, because more than ten years on, the songs on the record still stand tall against some of today’s more highly regarded releases, Carrion being the true catalyst for that.
There you have it, grommets. Maniacs’ top 5 Parkway Drive bangers. We wait with baited breath to see what the new album holds in store for us, but as the band continues to evolve and grow, you can be certain there will be something on there for everyone, and we’re bloody stoked for it.
Parkway Drive’s new album Reverence is out this Friday, May 4th via Resist Records
See you in the pit.
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