Parkway Drive has taken the world by storm in the last few years. The band has risen significantly in popularity within the metal scene with every album they have released. These Australians seem pretty unstoppable, and it makes sense since the group has been putting out heavy metalcore with heavy duty melodies since 2005. Now, let’s go over each record and see how they each compare to see which are their worst and best albums in the past thirteen years.
#6: Reverence (2018)
If you read my review of the band’s latest release from earlier this year, then you know how disappointed I was. While I did not like the record, it was not atrocious, but not what I was hoping for. With a powerful first single, Wishing Wells, every other song felt significantly weaker in its emotional weight and musical style. The Void had an old school metal vibe along with Parkway’s traditional sound. The song was a weaker, but satisfying the second single. Sadly, many of the other songs were weaker especially with the first red flag being the third single, Prey. With Winston either talking too much instead of brutal screams or his attempt to cleansing in a few tracks was not fitting. While there is worst metal out there, this is not a highlight in Parkway Drive’s catalog.
#5: Killing with a Smile (2005)
The band’s debut record is a heavy hitter. Out of every Parkway album, this might be one of their heaviest and least melodic. In many ways, it is what I usually think of as metalcore regarding their instrumentation. A simple, but a heavy delight for any metalhead wanting to bang their heads. Romance is Dead is a classic song from the band’s oldest material that helped launch the group into the metal scene.
#4: Deep Blue (2010)
The band is now riding high with this third release that continues to solidify their sound that will be recognizable within the crowded metalcore scene. With a greater focus on melody rather than heavy breakdowns, this album still maintains the proper aggression. The album eases itself in with the somber instrumental portion of its first track, Samsara, with ending off with guttural screams and a slow breakdown to set the stage for what’s to come in this record. Deep Blue shows the band branching out by collaborating with Marshall Lichtenwaldt of The Warriors and label owner, and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz makes appearances on the record. Whether it is the rapid-fire that shoots out from Unrest to the fan favorite Karma, the record is full of major bangers for any Parkway fan to listen to full blast.
#3: Horizons (2007)
If you were to go up to any fan of Parkway Drive, then many would say that Horizons is their best record, and it is up there. The band’s second outing hit the world strong with one of their best albums to date. The record has a slow, but explosive beginning with the transition of its two first tracks Begin and The Siren’s Song. Popular tracks such as the fan favorite Carrion and Idols and Anchors are staples in any Parkway concert.
Image via Epitaph Records
#2: Atlas (2012)
The band continues to open the gates of straying away from typical instrumental styles that most metalcore bands implement with this 2012 release. The album has the best intro of their catalog with Sparks which features a somber beginning that builds up to an epic final act before going into the rest of the album. Nothing like Parkway having a melodic, but brutal track to start things off. Dark Days being a thought-provoking track about the world’s environmental issues. A major fan favorite being Wild Eyes which not only has a classic intro for a whole crowd of thousands of Parkway fans to sing along to but an easily recognizable ring that leads right into Dark Days. The guttural and bouncing Old Ghosts/New Regrets makes for one of the heaviest songs off of the record. While many say Horizons is their best album, but many tend to forget about this gem.
Image via Epitaph Records
#1: Ire (2015)
This might be controversial, but I absolutely love the band’s change in sound from their 2015 release. Ire takes that traditional sound that these Australian metalheads have developed and given it a facelift with Rage Against the Machine inspired rhythms and experimenting with new sounds altogether. The album starts off in a way to show fans they are in for a relentlessly furious record with Destroyer. With the heaviness not stopping with the bouncing chorus of Dying to Believe. The album does not let down on the gas but gives a more uplifting track with Vice Grip, a track that is perfect for fans to sing along to during the chorus. The album does not let up with my favorite track being Crushed, the closest to Rage Against the Machine we get with the Parkway twist which makes for one of the most ruthless tracks on the record. The band experiments with one heavy track, in particular, Bottom Feeder, a relentlessly heavy song that features a bridge in which Winston raps, and it is surprisingly excellent. The album knows when to let things settle down with Writings on the Wall while still ending strong with A Deathless Song. Front to back, this is easily the band’s best album.
Those are my rankings of the current catalog of Parkway Drive albums. The band has had an overall strong career, despite my disliking of their latest release. No matter how you feel about them, at least they break the mold from the metalcore scene to create their own sound. What are your rankings of Parkway Drive’s music? Comment below on how you would rank their albums.
Header image via Epitaph Records