Periphery – Peripihery II: This Time It’s Personal – Album Review
|Fans Of:||Monuments, Chimp Spanner, Veil Of Maya|
|Label:||Century Media / Summerian Records|
|Download This:||Scarlet, The God's Must Be Crazy|
|Genre(s):||Djent, Tech, Metal|
As one of founding and most important bands in popularising the djent genre, Periphery were always faced with the problem having to outgrow a genre that seemingly died before it even began. Periphery II is the perfect response to this issue and reveals Periphery as a band setting new benchmarks in metal.
Whilst the songs on their self-titled debut were focused around guitar riffs, the vocals of Spencer Sotelo are the prominent aspect on Periphery II, proving many of his critics wrong with an outstanding performance. Whilst he demonstrates that not only can he hold a strong chorus on songs such as ‘Scarlet’ or ‘The God’s Must Be Crazy!’, in the latter half of ‘Ragnarok’, Sotelo puts in what can only be described one of the vocal moments of the year, hitting notes that few vocalists could dream of.
Another area where Periphery really excels is in the song writing quality. Whilst their debut had some memorable moments, such as ‘Jetpacks Was Yes!’, the album was largely comprised of complicated guitar riffs that made remembering how a lot tracks actually sounded difficult. On Periphery II, songs such as ‘JI’ or ‘Froggin’ Bullfish’ still meander through numerous different musical passages and riffs, they still have memorable choruses that make the album much more instant and accessible.
The band never stick to a formula on Periphery II either. Songs can range from the epic ‘Luck As A Constant’ to the simply verse-chorus structured ‘The God’s Must Be Crazy!’, keeping the listener guessing where each track will go and avoids the album becoming monotonous.
On top of this, with John Petrucci guesting on Erised and Periphery recently completing a run of European shows with them, a clear influence of bands such as Dream Theater can be heard throughout Periphery II. With vocal lines in opener ‘Muramasa’ being repeated in ‘Ragnarok’ and ‘Masamune’, combined with each of the songs ending with having ambient or acoustic passages, enables them to flow directly into each other (‘Ragnarok’’s being a reference to previous album closer ‘Racecar’). This helps Periphery II feel like a complete album, rather just a random collection of songs.
With Periphery II, Periphery have shown that they have the talent to distance themselves from the traditional djent stereotype and create their own unique identity. With an album so consistent in quality, yet so varied in song writing and creativity, Periphery have the set standard for metal bands in 2012 with Periphery II.
2. ‘Have A Blast’
3. ‘Facepalm Mute’
6. ‘Luck as a Constant’
8. ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’
9. ‘Make Total Destroy’
12. ‘Froggin’ Bullfish’
13. ‘Mile Zero’