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Parkway Drive - 'Viva The Underdogs' Album Review


1. Prey

2. Carrion

3. Karma

4. The Void

5. Idols

6. Dedicated

7. Absolute Power

8. Wild Eyes

9. Chronos

10. Crushed

11. Bottom Feeder

12. Würgegriff (Vice Grip)

13. Die Leere (The Void

14. Schattenboxen (Shadow Boxing) feat. Casper

Following an incredible couple of years for the band, Australian Metalcore heavyweights Parkway Drive release their first live album 'Viva The Underdogs', from their headline set at the historic sold out Wacken Open Air festival in Germany last year, performing songs from their last four studio albums. Three studio tracks recorded in German are also featured on the album, which also serves as the soundtrack to the documentary of the same name.

The whole documentary/live album combination is by no means a new concept, although admittedly this is the first time I’ve listened to the album without watching the documentary, having missed its night in cinemas back in January, however it is by no stretch of the imagination essential to see the documentary to listen to the album, and vice versa.

'Viva The Underdogs' does a phenomenal job of capturing the fervent nature of Parkway Drive’s live set, with as much energy as possible seeping through without actually being present when it was recorded last summer, especially in songs like ‘Wild Eyes’, where lead vocalist Winston McCall instructs the crowd to sing along with the guitar riff and eventually leaves the crowd to sing it alone, which sent shivers down my spine. There are several instances where McCall gives instructions to the crowd throughout the album that make me wish I was there, or at any of their live shows for that matter.

My one complaint about the album is the exclusion of some of the songs they played at Wacken, cutting the sixteen song set down to eleven tracks, interrupting the flow at points. In an ideal world I personally would’ve kept the remaining tracks in, as has been the case for similar albums like Slipknot’s 'Day Of The Gusano', which featured the entirety of the band’s Knotfest 2015 set, but the effect this has is minimal.

The band have honed their craft over seventeen years and six studio albums, with no signs of slowing down. Their rise was fairly slow in the beginning, but 'Viva The Underdogs' solidifies why they belong at the top of the lineup of the biggest Metal festivals in the world alongside names like Slayer, Scorpions and Sabaton, and they will undoubtedly carry this momentum into the future.

Review - Gordon Rae

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