The album marks a shift in production style for the band as production was not handled by Adam D (of Killwitch Engage) for the first time on a full-length Parkway Drive album. Musically, The band concentrate on the heavier side of their sound, especially favoring their breakdowns and big riffs, which results in a very direct and hard sounding album full of very solid and well constructed songs following a pretty strict musical formula.
The album is a real grower and repeat listens really bring out all the character and little touches. The whole album flows pretty well and each song boasts some some vocal chant that will be stuck in your head for a long time. The real standout tracks are the single ‘Sleepwalker,’ the catchy ‘Home Is For The Heartless,’ and the absolutely gigantic sounding ‘Deadweight,’ which features one of the best breakdowns on the whole album.
If you were being unkind you could call the album one-dimensional but the band also include a few their contemplative passages and technical sections to break up the barrage of aggression and additionally the album is conceptual in nature with the songs all unified by shared lyrical ideas (telling the story of a disillusioned man attempting to find understanding by venturing under the sea only to return to where he started) and both these elements inject enough creativity into the mix to make the album stand out from the crowd as a great record, even among other Parkway Drive albums.
Interestingly for a concept album, Deep Blue is remarkably music-focused and the narrative doesn’t interrupt or overwhelm the music at any point. Its not so much a rock opera with non-musical dialogue and sound effects as an album that just ended up telling a story. It can stand on its own as a set of tight, independent songs or you can sit down with the lyrics and enjoy it with a hidden extra layer of depth and both ways work equally well.
The more you listen to it the more you realize that Deep Blue is an almost flawless album and the only thing that could really be considered wrong with it, is if you already don’t like or have heard too much of the style of music that the band play. While Parkway Drive do not break huge amounts of new ground however, what they do, they do very well indeed. Parkway Drive have Metalcore down to a science and with their rejection of clean vocals altogether, still have something new to offer to metal fans who dislike or have grown tired of the over-saturated clean/light Metalcore sound. You can’t realistically accuse them of ripping off Killswitch Engage exclusively if they don’t employ the same giant clean choruses, arguably the biggest factor in the Killswitch sound.
Overall; the quality of the music speaks for itself and I if you are a fan of the genre, Deep Blue is definitely an album you need to be listening to. It is tight, confident and perfectly formed.