Australian heavy music is thriving. In every nook and cranny of the country, collectives of ultra-creative riff-masters, blood-curdling screamers and mosh-warriors are collaborating on some of the world’s most forward-thinking, catchy and straight-up badass heavy music, setting new standards worldwide. In 2018, as hungry fans are devouring the nectar of every new groovy hardcore band, nu-metal hybrids and punk patricians, looking back on where it all began can prove to be a reflective and historic exercise.

In Sydney last night, Parkway Drive showcased their undying passion for heavy music, as pioneers of a scene that has clearly transcended its humble roots. Having seen the heights of success in Europe (the world’s capital for all things bombastic metal), Parkway Drive culminated the energy and drive initially learned in the confines of local hardcore venues with unmatched seasoned professionalism.

Parkway Drive

Having ruled the roost for so long, it’d be easily understood if fans began to display a weariness towards the metalcore lifers – for Parkway Drive, this is clearly not the case. Having released their most experimental, far-reaching and anthemic effort to date Reverence earlier this year, Sydney’s lovers of all things heavy came out in full force, ready to be treated to a night of heavy metal intensity.

Kicking things off were Western Sydney deathcore titans Thy Art Is Murder, rilling the crowd up with their much-loved brand of primal blast beats and growls. Frontman CJ McMahon, on his most terrifying A-game, lurched over the crowd in intimidating dominance, tearing through the band’s back catalog of classic’s including 2012’s ‘Reign Of Darkness’. US-metalcore lifers Killswitch Engage tore through their set with anthems of political distrust and social impact to an already packed arena.

Killswitch Engage

Commanding the stage with a kingdom-conquering confidence, Parkway Drive arrived onto the hallowed stage with the intention to destroy. Opening their set in a visually cacophonous flurry of glaring white light, smog and pyrotechnics, the band tore into 2018’s ‘Wishing Wells’. The track’s bone-crushing breakdown and haunting sentiment was carried by Parkway’s tight musicianship and glaring stage production.

Undying fan favourite, 2007’s ‘Carrion’ incited one of the nights most unified sing-a-longs early in the show, whilst hair-metal homage ‘Vice Grip’ saw a sea of salutes and crowd surfers pay to respect the band’s evolving sound and powerful performance style.

Parkway Drive
The littlest Parkway Drive fan.

Winston McCall is undeniably one of the best (if not the best) metalcore frontmen of all time – proving his status constantly throughout the night with his creature-like movements, flawless vocal performance and all-encompassing persona. Thanking the crowd for their allegiance to the band, McCall dove head-first into the ultimate metalcore anthem, ‘Dedicated’ off 2015’s IRE. 

A true-sensory overload, the band invited a string quartet to amplify the epic ‘Writings On The Wall’, whilst each member stood on elevating risers. ‘Absolute Power’ off Reverance conjured up one of the nights many massive circle-pits, as fans flailed relentlessly to the track’s alt-metal inspired riffage, whilst ‘Karma’s’ iconic drum-solo intro never sounded more revolutionary.

Parkway Drive’s encore can only be described properly as he most “metal” thing to happen in 2018. In an age of cynicism and irony, Parkway embraced their status as the world’s finest, completing the night’s assault on the senses with a revolving, fire-drenched drum riser, exuding many-a gasps of awe from the bewildered crowd.

Parkway Drive

Closing the show with an encore of 2015’s Rage Against The Machine-inspired ‘Crushed’ and ‘Bottom Feeder’, the band closed out the night in celebration of their unmatched reputation and legacy.

Parkway Drive’s Reverence show is the band’s most accomplished live show to date. Every firework, solo and scream is proof the band have constantly pushed boundaries and built upon their metalcore foundations, transcending realms most bands could only dream of entering. Byron Bay hardcore may look and sound a lot different now, but its legacy will live on in evolution, passion and constant dynamism.

Parkway Drive ‘Reverence’ 2018 Australian Tour

Supported by Killswitch Engage & Thy Art Is Murder

Tickets on sale Thursday, 24th May

Thursday, 25th October
UC Refectory, Canberra
Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 26th October
Hordern Pavilion, Sydney (Lic. All Ages)
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 27th October
NEX, Newcastle
Tickets: Official Website

Sunday, 28th October
Riverstage, Brisbane (Lic. All Ages)
Tickets: Official Website

Friday, 2nd November
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne (Lic. All Ages)
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 3rd November
Entertainment Centre, Adelaide (Lic. All Ages)
Tickets: Official Website

Tuesday, 6th November
HBF Stadium, Perth (Lic. All Ages)
Tickets: Official Website