If I had my say, there would be a top one hundred list, because I enjoyed so many different albums this year. I’ve changed this list fifty seven times over the past week, so this list is me finally making a decision. It’s honestly been harder choosing this list than it has been choosing classes for next semester. I must say that 2012 has shown that music has not totally gone down the drain, because there are still so many amazing bands I’m just now hearing about, and so many great albums to listen to. So, without further ado, here are the twenty best albums to come out in 2012, and the six best albums that would be twenty one through twenty six that just didn’t make the cut.
02. Old Ghosts/New Regrets
03. Dream Run
04. Wild Eyes
05. Dark Days
06. The River
08. The Slow Surrender
10. Sleight Of Hand
11. Snake Oil & Holy Water
12. Blue & The Grey
Parkway Drive is one of the more successful metalcore bands out there. Their fan base is huge, as well as dedicated. They have brought just about everything to the table over the past three albums; huge ballads that beg to be shouted along to, heavy hitting metalcore songs with brutal breakdowns, and catchy songs with riffs that stay in your mind for a longer time than anyone would care to admit. However the main problem with this band is that over the past three albums, while they have incorporated all of those elements and many more, they have yet to make a truly great album. Spread out over three releases, the most recent one Deep Blue being their best thus far, it is hard not to get the feeling that they had it in them to make a great album that combined all three elements successfully, but never did. So with their latest outing, have Parkway Drive continue to make the same mistake, or did they improve their formula to make a better album?
I seem to be the biggest fan of Parkway Drive here and quite frankly I’m okay with that. I’ve listened to their new album countless times, and can’t wait to write my review for it later this week. But to hold the rest of you over until then, Epitaph has a special treat.
Parkway Drive are easily one of the better metalcore bands out there. Their mix of really fast riffing with lead harmonies is reminiscent of melodic death metal, while they maintain the elements of metalcore that many are familiar with, e.g. the breakdown. This “core” sound is what has brought them many fans, and now their fans can finally get some new music, mixed, mastered, and official.
I think this new song is a very strong indicator of what direction the band wants to go in. It sounds more focused and central than some of their earlier songs. Seems like ‘Deep Blue’ helped push the band to expand further and really tighten up their sound. You can listen to the song ‘Dark Days’ here.
Parkway Drive’s forthcoming release Atlas is out October 30th on Epitaph Records.
Parkway Drive are one of my favorite metalcore acts. Regardless of what people say, they seem to make all the right moves that keep songs fresh and always filled with new energy. They also have a nice melodic side, such as the harmonies in the and solos in the song ‘Pressures‘ that’s reminiscent of melodic death metal. A lot of people give me flak about them being metalcore, but I find something special about them that attracts me. Naturally, I loved their last effort Deep Blue and am anxiously awaiting their fourth studio album that they will record later this year.
A week ago they released details about an upcoming live DVD / Documentary called Home Is For The Heartless, 75-minutes of interviews intermingled with live performances from around the globe. I’m extremely excited, mostly because I’ve had the opportunity to meet the guys, and they are all very down to Earth and friendly, and love to have a good sense of humor. They also are very serious when it comes to their music, and it shows on each of their releases, which get progressively better.
They are currently finishing up the writing for their fourth studio album, set to be released late 2012. In the meantime, here is a taste of what is to come from the fourth record.
Sure, I was drinking the haterade like most of you for awhile. Their early material is fairly entry-level, and they look goofy as hell and all the little scene kids adore them, so automatically we ‘real metalheads’ have to despise them, right? It’s an understandable knee-jerk reaction, and I pretty much wrote them off after Suicide Season - although I didn’t particularly hate it – but when one of my best friends told me to check out Heaven/Hell, and literally would not stop raving about it, I gave it an open minded spin and was totally floored.
It really is a great album, and over a year later I only appreciate it more with each listen. Solid all the way through and often incredible, unbelievable production, and some of the best guitar tones I’ve ever heard on any album, in any genre. If you passed this album up, you should really give it another go.
Heavy Blog reader Chelsea Seal attended the November UK headlining tour for Austrailian metalcore act Parkway Drive. She sent us a review of the show, below, and we were happy to share it. Thanks Chelsea!
After waiting through 6 bands before the main headliner, the crowd appeared to be exhausted and have nothing left to give. But before they come onto the stage, the entire crowd is chanting their name, everyone clearly eager to see their favourite band.
As the intro track “Samsara” started to play, the crowd goes insane and the shouts and screams once again seem to be all they have left. “Samsara”’s sound over the P.A is distinctly the haunting sound that Parkway Drive shows through most if not all of their songs. But when Parkway Drive hit the stage, the entire crowd is woken up and filled with a sudden burst of energy, everyone is jumping and screaming. As the band kick into “Unrest” they have an air of confidence, knowing that the Manchester crowd are going to give as much as they get.
So I just stumbled upon this article written by Every Time I Die frontman Keith Buckley. It’s basically a big rant about the sad state of our sub-culture, where people with no talent can get together and call themselves a ‘band’, get a bunch of 14 year-old scene kids to be their fan base, get on warped tour and get rich because of their ‘music’. He even calls out a few bands by name, which I found enjoyable. I’m not really even a fan of Every Time I Die, but this is a great article and Keith makes some very good points. Check it out, unless you’re in love with Attack Attack! or some other similiar ‘band’.
8. Deliver Me
10. Home Is For The Heartless
12. Leviathan I
13. Set To Destroy
As a lot of us know, it’s been a long time coming for Australian metalcore juggernaut, Parkway Drive. They’ve managed to release two studio albums (not including Deep Blue), an EP, two split albums, and a DVD in a scene where bands are lucky to get a second studio album out in their lifetime. With their latest release, Deep Blue, I’m sure they hope to continue to their streak of success.
Rather than looking at each track individually, Deep Blue BEGS to be taken in all together. The songs by themselves aren’t exactly incredible but the album listened all the way through is a quite engaging experience. Opening with the atmospheric intro, “Samsara”, the mood first sets in. While the album continues, it never once loses it’s pacing, vibe, or immersive value and considering its ferocious tempo changes, this is quite a feat. Deep Blue, when listened all the way through, is a beautiful thing.
Now if you’re looking for something innovative or unique, you may not find much here. Alone, each song sounds like pretty generic metalcore, but like I said, the album doesn’t want to be seen in individual tracks. What’s remarkable about it however is how immersive it gets you once you give it a chance. If you’re an open minded listener with a good 40-50 minutes to kill, I absolutely recommend giving Deep Blue a solid chance.