Parkway Drive release ‘Darker Still’, the band’s defining musical statement to date

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Parkway Drive release ‘Darker Still’, the band’s defining musical statement to date

Photo Credit: Dave LePage
Words by Alex Callan

The seventh full-length album encourages listeners to reconsider everything they know about Australia's masters of heavy.

Upon listening to Parkway Drive’s seventh LP Darker Still, it’s quite evident that the band are standing up to the naysayers of their new sound. It’s hard to miss, with ‘Imperial Heretic’ seeing Winston McCall venting “It’s all the same sound… but I refuse to repeat it.”

Not only is it a contention to the critics, but it also upholds the ethos of the group, who at this point ambitiously refuse to stop evolving their sound.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

With a clear focus on theatrics, Darker Still dives deep into spoken word and varying vocal techniques, a newish approach that has seen McCall’s vocal cadence flourish throughout constant tonal shifts. Adding to this are the subdued stylings of Jeff Ling and Luke Kilpatrick, who add a huge punch through their newfound reliance on guitar riffs and solos, as opposed to the changes in tempo and open note breakdowns that the group cut their teeth on.

Honing in on the powerful reception of European audiences, title track ‘Darker Still’ incorporates evocative whistles, giving the triumphant ballad an incredibly ominous feeling that’ll be sure to encourage deafening chanted singalongs; as will the poetically staggered ‘If A God Can Bleed’ and the nostalgic soundscapes of ‘Soul Bleach’.

Whilst Parkway’s new direction has been gradual, Darker Still is the piece that finally brings it all together, giving the metal icons an innovative new lease on their sound.

To celebrate the release of their most ambitious album yet, the first-ever Parkway Drive DigitalXPhysical Gallery and Pop-Up Store will be open for one day only on September 10 in Melbourne’s OSHI Gallery.

Located at 386 Smith Street, Collingwood, this offers a completely immersive experience featuring new and exclusive limited apparel and vinyl, never-before-seen Parkway Drive art and memorabilia and there will be a signed Parkway Drive guitar up for grabs.

There will be a limited edition Marble Transparent Yellow/Black Vinyl exclusively available until sold out, as well as an Australian exclusive Galaxy Royal Blue/Baby Blue and Galaxy Swamp Green/Double Mint Vinyl variants. The store will be open from 9am – 6pm so you’ll need to be quick to get your hands on these. The first 50 through the door will receive a Parkway Drive signed print. Head over to the event page for more details.

Darker Still is out today, September 9, via Parkway Records.