ARTIST: PARKWAY DRIVE

TITLE: VIVA THE UNDERDOGS

LABEL: EPITAPH RECORDS

RATING: 9/10

WORDS: KARLEY MYALL

Byron Bay’s very own five-piece hardcore band Parkway Drive are in the process of releasing their fourteen-track anthology ‘Viva The Underdogs’. It’s the soundtrack to their new documentary and one that was recorded live at their headlining set in Germany at Wacken Open Air. They incorporate their insane heaviness, embracing their gut-wrenching screams, sick guitar riffs and not to mention the incredible drum beats. Parkway always puts on an amazing performance live and you can hear that for yourself throughout, it creates a whole other experience.

Kicking off the album is ‘Prey’ and what a killer track to start with. It’s chaotic, it’s insane and it’s one that hits you in the face for sure. There is this electrifying atmosphere, with so much adrenaline from not only them but the audience, you really feel like you’re there when you listen through. The amount of energy that bounces off every single person in that room is felt throughout not only on this track but the whole collection.

“Parkway always puts on an amazing performance live and you can hear that for yourself throughout”

‘Karma’ is just all around brutal. If you’ve seen Parkway Drive live you know that they put on one hell of a show and Karma proves just that. From high-pitched guttural shrieks to deep growls, it shows just what they’re all about and that’s pure heaviness. Not only the insane vocal ranges but the crazy guitar riffs and the thunderous drum beats, embracing that pure hardcore sound that their audience loves to hear.

‘Absolute Power’ gives the instrumentals their prime time, the heaviness intensifies and the melody that intertwines with the vocals is loud and intense. It’s such a suspenseful track as you get this crazy amount of energy flowing through out, as you wait for the manic break downs to hit.

‘Wild Eyes’ is one that for those who’ve been fans of the hardcore band would know, the way the audience chanted back at them gave it a whole new meaning. The connection that you feel throughout is insane and the way in which you feel this contagious energy coming off everyone creates a whole other experience. As well as adding this intense atmosphere, the vocals and instrumentals are so overpowering and aggressive, one of the best tracks by far.

“If you’ve been a long-term fan of their music then this album will not let you down”

The last three songs are German reinterpretations of their original tracks ‘Vice Grip (Wurgegriff), The Void (Die Leere) and Shadow Boxing (Schattenboxen). Such an intriguing addition to the anthology and ones that excel in many ways.

‘Schnattenboxen (Shadow Boxing)’ is the final track on the album and what a surprise it is to hear. When you listen through the rest of Viva The Underdogs and then you get to this one,  it takes a different turn, but it’s done in a superb way. They sure know how to sing in German as well as having these rather deranged instrumentals going on in the background, they deliver it in brutal fashion. Featuring German Rapper Casper and considering the two genres are pretty diverse in their own way they created something that intertwined Rap and Hardcore and made this killer hit that really stands out on the anthology.

Parkway Drive always put on an incredible performance live and you can really hear that for yourself as you listen, it gives it a whole new meaning and this overwhelming feeling. If you’ve been a long-term fan of their music then this album will not let you down, with it being live it is mesmerising to listen to and it’s always a bonus when bands decide to release a live show as it just takes you on a whole other journey. Viva The Underdogs will be out on March 27th so keep your eyes peeled for this one!

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