Parkway Drive clear winners of an off-the-wall night

Parkway Drive, We Came As Romans, Like Moths To Flames and Memphis May Fire
November 11 at Store Vega


Monday night in Store Vega was heaven for metalcore lovers. Equally loved and hated by the metal community, metalcore is essentially a mix of hardcore punk influences combined with typical heavy metal attributes. The end result is a combination of fast-paced riffs, heart-wrenching screams and slow thundering breakdowns. 


Although there were four bands on the bill, the Ohio-based quintet Like Moths To Flames performed a mere 15 minutes after the doors opened, which meant that a whole lot of fans – this reviewer included – missed them.


Memphis May Fire was up next to perform their particular brand of metalcore with an infusion of Southern rock ’n'roll. The sound was seamless, and vocalist Matty Mullins proved to be a versatile performer with a killer clean voice. This was especially apparent in the hard-hitting ‘Prove Me Right’. 


Next up was We Came As Romans, who play a similar amalgamation as Memphis May Fire, but with an even more extensive focus on melodic hooks. Songs like ‘Hope’ had the entire audience bouncing, yet by this point the pop melodies about teen anxiety and hopelessness becametoo mushy for my taste. 


The evening’s headliner was Parkway Drive, a mammoth of a metalcore band that are known for their ridiculously crazy live shows and face-melting passages. With a dark to light use of strobe and smoke, the visuals perfectly complimented the opener, ‘Dark Days’ and the crowd swarmed like a rampant ocean. Things weren’t likely to calm as the rib-puncher ‘Sleepwalker’ had the first circle pit form. Parkway Drive play the darkest metalcore with the most twitch-inducing riffs, yet they retain a relaxed and party-happy attitude. Winston McCall is a solid entertainer and has a lion’s roar. Fans of the older Horizons period were treated to a triplet of heavy hitters in the form of the old-school ‘Boneyards’, ‘Idols & Anchors’ and lastly the infamous ‘Carrion’, which sealed the night's set. 


Parkway Drive delivered, as they always do, a decadent amount of sledgehammer metalcore at its best. With a set consisting of 13 songs, I was hoping to hear a little bit more from them, but the short set was understandable given that the night was booked with four bands. Parkway Drive truly is an experience for everyone, even people not keen on heavy metal. Grab the chance if you get it.