Parkway Drive “Darker Still”

What an entertaining collection of songs here. It is understood that the band’s OG gothenburg-esque metalcore sound is now decades in the rearview with the last several albums leaning towards a more polished metal execution in the vein of Avenged Sevenfold and shameless hopefuls Atreyu. But the band’s current operatic shift in direction is certainly an extended pivot from their prior efforts at alternative metal. The whistles, the repetitive chants, the cavalier title track, and “The Greatest Fear,” I mean, there’s just so much to compartmentalize. As the record progresses Winston’s delivery just continues to puzzle us. What even is “If a God Can Bleed”? But, for what it’s worth, if you compare this to Epica, Nightwish, and Within Temptation, Parkway Drive isn’t THAT out of order in their efforts to dominate 100+ minute sets on the global festival circuit, and tracks like “Soul Bleach” highlight just that even though it did technically steal the riff from “Bled For Days.”

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