Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Intern Review: Parkway Drive - Atlas

For those of you out there who feel the metalcore wave is a passing fad, off the heels of a now defunct nu-metal genre (thank god) I hate to tell you this… it’s NOT going away anytime soon, especially with the five-piece, Australian band Parkway Drive at the helm. These boys have been going hard for 10 years and aren't letting up.

Atlas, is a kick ass roller coaster ride from start to finish. If you’re a metalcore fan or not, this is an album that might change your perspective on your impression of the genre. You’ll thoroughly enjoy all of the chuga-chuga riffs, deep growls and impressive drum work. I’m complete sucker for gang vocals and sing-a-longs and this album is full. Any band using gang vocals is just after my heart.

One of the fantastic things about this album is the absence of a repetitive hook or theme, which is great because so many metalcore bands will find their “sound” and be boring as all hell after the first three songs.

The first track off Atlas, "Sparks," slow moving instrumental piece with a marching style drum cadence. Although, it is a generic way of starting a metalcore album, it leads into “Old Ghost / New Regrets” a guitar heavy intro with gang vocals will have you out of your seat and diving head first into the pit.

 “The River” stood particularly well because of the slow pace. You need that in a solid album to make those fast tracks really stand out and shine. It’s a real treat when as a listener; you can enjoy the storytelling through music with songs like “The River” in an album that is so great at being heavy. It is a major discredit to a band’s versatility and style when all they do is bombard your eardrums with overbearing guitar work and bass drops.

Prepare yourself for “Swing.” This is a brutally fast, pit worthy track with a sick breakdown. Pelvic thrust:: UGH! Such a great track, I dare you to find a more pit worthy metalcore song that has been out in the past 6 months. Seriously, hit me up, I’ll put some money on it.

Atlas is one of those albums I was hesitant to listen to because the recent trend of metalcore had left a Penicillin like after taste in my mouth, which could only be washed down by bands that had done it well in the past. Atlas tickled my fancy like a 4 year old with an Elmo doll. This album breaks up the monotony of a genre saturated with weak, prepubescent vocals and synthesized hooks. You won’t catch any of that garbage in this album.

Atlas is a rollercoaster ride of an album with great breakdowns, catchy gang vocals and what could potentially be a future live album. There are no auto tuned hooks, bull crap, sissy vocalizing or synthesized cheating. This straight up guitar heavy, well-written and even better timed album in regards to track placement gives the listener a great experience. It gets you up when it needs to and lets you rest when it should. Finally someone has done a metalcore album right and better it be veterans of the stage than a noob. A+

-Derick Garcia

Derick is an intern from Texas State University where he hosts his own metal show 'On the Grinder' and produces and hosts a Texas State TV program 'La Bella Vida.'

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