Album Review: Parkway Drive - Darker Still
Reviewed by Cat Finch
Parkway Drive really broke through to the wider metal scenes consciousness around 2018/19 with the bands sixth studio album ‘Reverence’ making waves from the moment it hit the airwaves. Followed by, in the UK, a huge Academy sized venue tour and a ground breaking appearance headlining Bloodstock Festival in 2019 which really cemented their position as one of the bands that will lead heavy music to a new generation.
Despite a pandemic f*cking things up somewhat the bands momentum has not wavered and in 2022 they return with seventh studio album ‘Darker Still’. The question now stands will this latest album propel the bands trajectory yet further? Lets find out…
Opening with the genteel music from a child's toy, before Winston McCalls vocals raise from the darkness ‘Ground Zero’ leads the listener into the abyss as a minute in this song explodes!
The band have teetered on the edge on greatness for some time, their style often being the one element the older generation of metal fans couldn’t get their heads around. With this opus that all changes! This is the most accessible album the band have produced, it draws even the naysayers in, it enslaves them until they succumb to the Parkway Drive methodology. All that whilst still keeping on track enough for the hardened Parkway Drive fans to stay on board. This is the album that opens Parkway Drive up to everyone.
There’s a thumping, anthemic grove that runs through out the album, the metronomic beat in the background that keeps your head banging consistently. ‘Glitch’ has a swirling soundscape that drags the listener in full immersing them in the song. ‘The Greatest Fear’ accompanied by a cinematic video (watch below) continues on the musical theme running through this album but McCall channels his inner Viking in his vocals with his Johan Hegg inspired gutturals sounding wonderful!
Title track, ‘Darker Still’ is the peak of the album, the near six minute ditty takes you on a journey to hell and back, the sound is huge, near orchestral at times and highlights Parkway Drive’s current direction perfectly.
In this seventh studio album Parkway Drive have opened the floodgates, they’ve made themselves accessible to a wider audience, and produced an album of the year contender. People may have doubted it in the past, but here we have a future Download Festival headliner, there is no stopping them now!