6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2005
First off, this band is NOT American. They are from Austrailia and are very good friends of I Killed The Prom Queen. I first heard the song Mutiny on their Myspace, and was blown away. After I got the cd and found out Adam from Killswitch produced their cd, I knew the rest of it would be good. If you love great melodic metal-core, and you're tired of a lot of "trendy" bands, and you want something different, get this. Every song is amazing and it's one of the few cds I never skip a track on.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2006
I have heard many metalcore/Hardcore bands around, and i would have to say Parkway Drive is my favourite by far. The sound is unique and every song has something different and catchy about it. Although every song on the Cd is sensationable, i would have to rate there best song is "A Cold Day In Hell"
For those who have recently purchased this Cd and would like to know more about Parkways music, They also have 3 Other ep's. They have a EP entitled "Don't Close Your Eyes" This EP has 8 tracks, including the original "Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em"
Parkway also have 2 older EP's, one entitled "Parkway Drive & I Killed The Prom Queen Split", only having 2 songs on it, aswell as another split EP with "Think Straight" aswell as "Shoot To Kill", this EP is entitled "What We've Built" and includes 3 songs. These 2 EP's are rare and more difficult to find than "Don't Close Your Eyes"
Although Parkway have an enormous amount of tallent throughout all there music, "Killing With A Smile" would be their standout Cd up to date.
My biggest advice to you is to purchase this cd and give it a try, you will definately not be dissapointed.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2006
Wow where did Parkway Drive come from? I mean I know where they came from, but it amazes my mind how these guys got so good in only being together for a short time. To my knowledge they only have one previous ep (which is hard to get a hold of to begin with) and "Killing With A Smile", which in it's own respect is a superiorly technical slab of metallic hardcore that will put eyeliner-fashioncore-scenesters to shame. Everything Parkway Drive presents on "Killing With A Smile" is jaw-dropping, and easily ranks up at the top of the ladder with metalcore heavyweights such as Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying. However where KSE of AILD lighten up to become more accessible to the mass public, Parkway Drive keeps their foot on the gas pedal and hammers your ears to the floor. Swedish death metal fans (At The Gates, In Flames) are going to eat this up, but so will the hardcore kids which is a nice touch for the band as it shows they can appeal to a broad audience. Simply "Killing With A Smile" is probably one of the most overlooked (and difficult to find) metalcore records I've listened to this year, and I'd recommend you track down a copy, especially if you're into metal or hardcore.
After being battered by the blistering opener "Gimme A D", you'd think you were listening to something like At The Gates "Slaughter Of The Soul", because the musicians in this band are extremely, extremely talented. There's definitely a melodic death nature about the music, especially in the guitar style which has obvious hints of At The Gates and In Flames. While they aren't necessarily breaking any new ground with this Swedish influenced guitar structure (there's a never ending black hole of those bands out there today) they definitely prove they've listened to their share of great guitarists, and know what the do when it comes to shredding the fret board. There's also plenty of blazing leads mixed throughout to show the guitarists technical ability, on top of their great interplay with one another. The only thing that really makes the band get the attached tag of "core" is the breakdowns present throughout the album, which as cliche as it may sound, really give the record the added punch. Listening to pummeling chug of "Picture, Perfect, Pathetic" and "Guns For Show, Knives For A Pro" is always fun.
The vocals are top notch as far as metalcore is concerned, while they aren't anything spectacular or different. They stay in the shriek/growl vocal range which is nice. God I'm thankful to finally listen to a record that doesn't have to throw in any whiny emo vocals to be catchy. Parkway Drive doesn't need any of that, because their songs have so much power individually. Tracks like "Anasasis (Xenophontis)" and "Pandora" demonstrate the excellent vocal presence this band gives off. There's occasional semi-spoken word (if that makes sense) vocals here and there, but that's about as close to accessible as the music gets, except for the melodic nature of the guitars.
A lot of rhythm sections in metalcore bands seem to be incredibly talented (AILD), and Parkway Drive can proudly add themselves to that list, as their's is no different. The drums know when to add the punch and when to accentuate the music, as does the bass. "Blackout" and "Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'em" show frantic drum patterns and blast beats, while the bass hums in the background to perfection, and then devastates during the breakdowns. The production really makes the instruments shine in the music though, where as on some records they get buried under the guitars and vocals. No problems here. There's enough double bass to hit as heavy as any metal record, and the start stop dynamics get fully embraced by the two.
The album only has slight detractions, which would prevent me from giving it the full five stars. However it's so much closer to five then four, that I would almost feel guilty giving it a lower score. First, as good as Parkway Drive is, they're basically just another variation of the metalcore standard, which to be quite honest is becoming pretty boring now. Don't get me wrong, "Killing With A Smile" is a fantastic record, but it takes little chances and doesn't at all step outside the metalcore formula. Sometimes you feel like you've heard riffs, breakdowns or other parts of songs on other records before, and unfortunately most likely you have. The lyrics are also somewhat cliche, mostly centering around love and heartbreak, which is also something that has been slowly run into the ground. On the whole though "Killing With A Smile" is just so good and so fun to listen to, that even these problems can't make me love the cd any less.
Overall "Killing With A Smile" isn't the most original record in the hardcore world right now, but it's definitely one of the most satisfying. There's bands who know how to do metalcore right, and Parkway Drive is one of them. Oh and did I mention these guys were from Australia? Seems to be like a hot breeding ground for aggressive metalcore acts as of late. Anyway, if you like you're metalcore with tons of insane riffs, powerful screaming and plenty of breakdowns, then Parkway Drive fits the bill perfectly. It won't blow you away, but it's far from being a throwaway release. If you can manage to get a copy of it, then I'd say go for it, especially if you dig bands like KSE and AILD. Go ahead and mosh your brains out.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2005
One of the elite hardcore albums around at the moment. Produced by Adam Dutkiewicz from Killswitch Engage has helped to put together one of the most complete hardcore albums I own. Some of the highlights for me are songs including 'Pandora', and gimmie a.d. The album reaches its pinnacle with an angry verbal assault over lost a love, put together with some creative heavy guitar work in 'Romance is Dead'. A must own for all Fans of Metal and Hardcore.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2006
Australia has kangaroos and America has metalcore bands. Both are in great abundance and it seems several of them are even born with each passing day. Thus, metalcore bands from a foreign country (where the genre isn't as popular) might be huge in their homeland, but they've still got to conquer the United States (where there's plenty of competition for heavy music's spotlight). Australia's Parkway Drive are one example of a band that's currently facing this challenge - they just can't seem to garner as much respect overseas as they did down under.
Truth be told, though, Parkway Drive actually deserve your attention. Although they're not exactly redefining the current music scene, they're one of only a few modern metal bands that isn't an obvious Killswitch Engage or At The Gates rip-off. Also, despite what you may have heard, they actually do not sound very closely related to Bleeding Through and/or Unearth. Instead, the music heard on their debut album ("Killing With A Smile") is far from textbook in this day and age, and one could even argue that, because it's so heavy (sometimes even brutal), it doesn't belong anywhere near the metalcore tag. If anything, this sound, which is saturated with wall-shaking riffs, busy blast beats, flattening rhythms, and bone-crunching breakdowns, surprisingly technical musicianship and bellowed vocals, leans closer to being death metal (or at least deathcore).
Opener "Gimme AD" immediately gets the album into the thick of things. It's a lethal and immediately memorable mix of nifty hooks, smoking, dogfight riffs, high yells, quick, skilled drum patterns (including thunderous double kicks and a persistent, thumping snare drum), bullying rhythms, and a Lamb of God-meets-Deicide vocal style. Even a little guitar solo is sneaked in at the end.
The smoke is then allowed to clear a little for the next three tracks. "Anasis (Xenophontis)," which is probably the record's most Killswitch Engage-reminiscent moment (frontman Winston McCall's ultra-deep, commanding bellows are the only differentiating factor.) Following that, "Pandora" is highlighted by a hooky, staccato beat, fast double bass work, and extra crunchy riffs. Then comes "Romance Is Dead," an obvious highpoint of the album which is fueled by awesome, rhythmic, machine gun drumming, forceful, teeth-rattling power chords, and a surprisingly soft, almost dreamy outro.
"Guns For Show, Knives For A Pro" is highlighted by what is probably the album's biggest surprise: it starts out with pounding, few-and-far-between riffs then works up to a scorching speed before the song suddenly stops dead in its tracks for a few seconds of shocking silence.
Drummer Ben Gordon gets his time in the spotlight on "Blackout" and "Picture Perfect, Pathetic," when he exploits a great give and take between his bouncy, walloping drum patterns and the hefty, cascading guitars.
Finally, "It's Hard To Speak Without A Tongue" is highlighted by an professional, fairly long and winding guitar solo that's tucked away in the background; "Mutiny" is another blistering thrash-fest; and "Smoke `Em If Ya Got `Em" is another bruiser, and is fueled by a rapid, impeccable death metal blast.
If there's one glaring flaw that you should be warned of, it's that McCall's lyrics are, at best, dodgy. Take "Romance Is Dead": the listener will be hard pressed not to crack a smile when the frontman bellows "Cry me a f - cking river, b - tch!" to an ex-girlfriend. He sometimes discusses respectable subject matter (like when he scorns heavy metal's famous obsession with depression and suicide), but most of the time the listener is thankful that the vocals are unintelligible (so you can't usually make out the words).
All things considered, "Killing With A Smile" may not be a perfect album (very few releases are nowadays), but it's doubtlessly a good, wholly solid one with no throwaway tracks. It isn't peerless stuff, but it is definitely in the upper tear of metalcore. Thus, if you don't have a problem with listening with a completely open mind, and if you can get it out of your head that the world probably doesn't need another metalcore band, you will really enjoy this C.D. and should pick it up.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2006
Parkway Drive have got to be one of the best Austrlian hardcore bands out there.
I first heard them at The Boys Of Summer Tour at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne Australia with Evergreen Terrace, The Getaway Plan and Carpathian.I was blown away by how good they were.Anyone who likes I Killed The Prom Queen or Evergreen Terrace will fall in love with this great aussie act.
From Byron Bay these guys have come a long way.They have had one of the best metal albums to ever come out of Australia and have made a massive fan base here from their comstant touring.
Tracks like Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em, Mutiny, Picture Perfect Pathetic, Gimme AD and Guns For Show, Knives For A Pro stand out.
If you live in Austrlia be sure not to miss their All Ages Assult Tour this march and april 2006.Also look out for Carpathian who will be touring with them as well.Both bands are unbeleivable and will blow you away.And plus Parkway Drive and Carpathian have got to be the best bads to have a mosh to!
Awesome band, awesome album and awesome live shows...what more do you want???????
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2006
Australias best hardcore band?This album has excellent production,done I believe by whoever does Killswitch engage,The music and lyrics are brutal.If you like one track,you should like them all.These guys have taken classic metal guitar sounds and breathed new life into them,made them fresh again,and are making up for the lack of decent metal around at the moment.Its not massively original to be sure,but it is fresh.And it is hard.Gimme AD and Its hard to speak without a tongue are more friendly,melodic tracks,while the last thirty seconds of Smoke em if ya got em just keeps getting harder and is worth the price of this album.Also check out some other wicked aussie metal core in Day of contempt,I killed the prom queen,Carpathian and Mourning tide.
on January 23, 2011
I sometimes like to rate albums after the band has had a chance to mature and make newer things, and looking back Killing with a Smile is in someways still Parkway Drive's best work as a whole. Lyrically it sounds like a new and pissed off group of punks, bringing all their heartache and angst to the recording studio; musically though, Killing with a Smile is an unprecedented tour-de-force. The only thing that stands taller than their cavernous breakdowns is their guitar solos that we, unfortunately, hear less and less of as Drive continues to produce music.
Killing with a Smile has the disadvantage of being overlooked when compared to Horizons, but I always come back to this magnificent album at least as much even though I've had it for much longer. Parkway Drive is one of those very rare bands that does not seem to need a maturing time (musically at least). They popped out of the outback with little to no ladder climbing. They simply skipped the many steps to musical brilliance and jumped on the stage with no introduction. They needed no growing period. Winston McCall's screams are as anguished and intense here as they are in Deep Blue (well, perhaps not quite as deep). The band's sound: That wonderful flow of epic emo guitar screams and beautiful landscapes of harmonics mixed with utter brutality, is, right of the bat, already fully realized in Killing with a Smile. And because of that, instantly recognizable. I only wish they would've kept the frequent guitar solos in their newer stuff. They were very good at it...
The only problem I can find with this album is, like I mentioned before, the lyrics, which really haven't changed over the albums, just became a little cleaner. Everyone knows what McCall's favorite four letter word is after listening to this. But I can completely overlook that downfall because the music is simply that grand. Even with such a young band, listeners can already tell that Parkway Drive will rise above most of the Metalcore of it's time. This isn't a prediction...they have.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2006
What i like about these guys their not freaks in real life, they act like wackos on stage but in person their just normal. They are a very talented band i think they have alot of potential. Good work Parkway drive and keep it up!
on January 18, 2013
I started listening to Parkway Drive on their second and third (Horizons, Deep Blue) albums. I listened to some singles from Killing With a Smile but didn't buy it until later. I bought it when Atlas, their fourth album, came out. I've always loved Parkway Drive; they're my favorite band. Maybe that can bias my opinion in this review, but I've always liked Parkway Drive's songs and never been disappointed in them, I never needed to be convinced by others. The same can be true for you if you've never listened to them. Their albums progressively change and improve, but even after listening to their newest stuff I think Killing With a Smile is brilliant and a very solid, great album. It has some classic metal songs on it. There are some really great, catchy riffs, lots of lead guitar sections, solos, and heavy breakdowns. You certainly won't be disappointed with this album, it's far from mediocre and I think really set the stage for music in the scene that followed. Anyone who's listened to Parkway Drive's new albums or anyone just coming to know Parkway Drive for the first time will love Killing With a Smile. Easy 5 stars; highly recommended.