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Periphery - Periphery II

Periphery II
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 20 July 2012, 1:10 AM

Where progression meets the ongoing modernity in Metal and Rock music, this is where I found the spiking PERIPHERY. Nothing sounds the same, always on the run, consistently on the verge of further evolution, reinvent themselves over and over and they are a little less than seven years of existence. Someone will probably fall after having a heart attack from the constant changes so you would better take deep breaths from verse to verse just as I did on their newly released album, “Periphery II”, via their new label, Century Media. To be honest I have never heard of any band that has been doing what PERIPHERY have been trying to accomplish. Of course that there are various of similarities to other bands, but the correspondences are only fractions and not in full. It is like the unholy matrimony Progressive and Math Metal like ANUBIS GATE, DREAM THEATER and MESHUGGAH along with the Metalcore kind of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. Though there is a shared distaste of Metalcore, PERIPHERY have been getting the most out of the other subgenres while indulging only packets of the Hardcore section. Some call this sort of genre Gent, but coming to think of it, this sounds rather a stupid name and rather corny mainly because it is rather funny to name a musical genre that is connected to Metal after a famous Porn magazine.

Virtually after the first listen, I remained speechless for a few moments. The intro, “Muramasa”,was only a scam of what came next barging through the wooden doors. Such tremendous assault of lyrical aptitude, anger and furious approaches along with distinct melodies and vocalic harmonies filled with clean vocal finesse along with harsh and crude screamos and growls, flashy musicianship levels, especially drums and guitars, both in the rhythm and the awesome lead section, that made me wonder how much practice these guys went through before heading to record this juggernaut kind of music. “Have A Blast” let me enter a different world of Metal music where the past was gone and only the future laid at the front waiting to grabbed and molested. PERIPHERY seemed to have enslaved every bits of their surroundings, meaning their own local scene that since a while ago turned modern than old school with its approach towards Metal music. On the other hand, their utmost talented vocalist that barked the bombastic chorus, Spencer Sotelo, could have been in any other Heavy / Power Metal band if he wanted to. Such a voice is hard to come by, especially with the murkiness of the growling technique so well distributed at his side. “Erised” and “Mile Zero” also whacked me hard that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore; this is a different land where everything shifts, twisting and turning in flash. There is always something new to appreciate and discover. The flow of the music received a different meaning with the PERIPHERY musical strategy.

Nonetheless, there is a reason why I could go further and crown this release as contender for the album of the year. With all of PERIPHERY’s stellar success at being innovative while keeping a somewhat equal line of directedness, catchiness and fluency, it is easy to notice that in time they tend to lose themselves in their own created chaos. Too much complexity, too much trying to be overly original, while relying on the choruses to be the glue between the large company of riffs, can’t always succeed and it showed on several of the tracks on the album like “Make Total Destroy”, “Froggin' Bullfish” and “Facepalm Mute” for instance. Sotelo, as the leading factor of the band’s accomplishments in my bill, can’t all the time cover for the chaotic nature of the music. Furthermore, I wasn’t that fervent about the whole electronic interferences that were implemented on the music like on the horrible “Epoch”, which clearly shouldn’t have been a part of this album in the first place.

So there you have it boys and girls. PERIPHERY is an amazing band with a bright future ahead of them. They made a grand slam with signing with Century Media. However, with their great high rate level of musicianship, they have to a little bit arrange their tracks as sometimes the meaning of the phrase “loosing yourself” gets rather wilder than ever. Not necessarily a good thing.

4 Star Rating

1. Muramasa
2. Have a Blast
3. Facepalm Mute
4. Ji
5. Scarlet
6. Luck as a Constant
7. Ragnarok
8. The Gods Must Be Crazy!
9. Make Total Destroy
10. Erised
11. Epoch
12. Froggin' Bullfish
13. Mile Zero
14. Masamune  
Spencer Sotelo - Vocals
Misha Mansoor - Guitars
Matt Halpern - Drums
Jake Bowen - Guitars
Mark Holcomb - Guitars
Record Label: Century Media


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