On September 25, 2015, Australian metalcore legends Parkway Drive released their fifth full-
length album, “Ire,” through Epitaph Records. The band spent the summer of 2014 on the Vans
Warped Tour, which is where they began writing, and eventually recording, the album. The
album’s first single, “Vice Grip,” was released in conjunction with the album announcement in
early June of 2015. Many fans noted the single’s departure from the band’s typical metalcore
style, sounding more like something that would end up on an Iron Maiden/Van Halen love-child
album rather than a Parkway Drive album.
The album still includes mostly heavy, Parkway-esque songs such as “Dying to Believe,”
“Bottom Feeder,” and “Dedicated,” but it also takes a sharp left turn into a more straight
metal or industrial metal sound with songs like “Destroyer” and “Crushed.” Due to this, many critics have noted that the band draws heavily from Rage Against The Machine, a 90’s band known for their stark criticism on capitalism and other typical pieces of the “American way of life.” This influence is most notable in the song “Crushed,” where frontman Winston McCall proclaims, “Because if you can’t see the chains tell me what use is a key? Its cash, blood and oil, in the age of the refugee. They’re trying to buy our minds, we ain’t selling. Bang, bang, bang, hear they’re nailing down the coffins.”
When speaking about the album with Music Feeds magazine, an Australian publication, frontman McCall stated, “When we finished Atlas and it came time to write something new, we just
basically felt that we couldn’t create something within the same genre confines we’ve been
writing within for ten years, and still have the same level of passion and drive.” He also commented on the band’s thoughts regarding the fan’s responses to the singles they’d released at that point, saying “it’s been the exact reaction we anticipated in both instances, which is to say it’s been a mixed response.” However, he also remarked that he wouldn’t comment fully on the fans responses until the full album had come out and people had a chance to hear it.
For what it’s worth, “Ire” marks another notch in the Parkway Drive totem pole and it’s a solid one. While there are moments in the album that feel wholly out of place, such as “Writings on the Wall,” the record is a solid departure from the sound that made Parkway Drive huge. While “Ire’s” not the type of album that die-hard fans will view as memorable, it is an album that will get casual listeners more interested in the band. Moreover, the band still enjoys playing the songs that gave them their original fame, which contrasts starkly with other recent bands, concerned more with performing, and writing, what feels fun to them, and that’s exactly what they did with “Ire.”