Review Summary: Music has the right to euthanasia now?
If there is one genre (yes, genre) of music that is descending into dreadfulness, it is djent. It was cool when Sikth and Meshuggah pioneered it and no-one really understood what they were doing, but ever since artists like Cloudkicker and, most importantly, Periphery began to make it melodic and listenable, a downward spiral began, a helter-skelter leading straight to the land of metalcore, actual musical evolution, clean vocals and other denizens of hell. It became clear from the moment that Spencer Soleto learnt how to autotune that djent was going to become more and more melodic and eventually morph into a genre that is entirely listenable; there was not really any hope that this could be avoided and radio exposure seemed imminent. However, the world is beyond fortunate since johnnydeking29, the mastermind behind Ornstein’s Puppy
, realised this and managed to avert this abominable crisis. He predicted exactly what djent was going to sound like in 20 years or so and moulded this vision into a 5 track EP, which captures futuredjent so perfectly that it is now pointless for any band to try and expand their sound any further, since that would mean aiming to eventually sound like The Peripheral EP and since no futuredjent will ever sound this good, that would be pointless. So, with around 10 minutes of music, johnnydeking29 has saved us all from another 20 years’ worth of Periphery albums, and that deserves nothing less than a massive thank you from the whole planet.
The Peripheral EP is pretty hard to absorb; the strange blend of Japanese folk, new-age synthesisers and – as rumour has it – decapitated turkeys is an acquired taste that will keep even the most hardened musical elitists in confusion (acknowledgement pending), redefine the term ‘melodic’, and possibly resurrect the dead (this has been confirmed by sonic, but he was probably trippin’). Opener Periphery Lives!
starts with a siren that makes it clear that everyone listening past this point must
be aware that they have been warned by the artist himself not to. If you are not a pussy and you listened through the rest of it, then be prepared for mandolin shred solos, tuba djent breakdowns and impromptu (short) drones, showing that not does the project boast a psychic vision rivalled by few, but it can also beat Periphery at their own game. The thing that I love most about The Peripheral EP is that it is easy to review; when I review albums, I normally make up a load of bull**** about them to make them seem more interesting, but this is so weird already that I didn’t need to. I haven’t had so much fun doing something since when I read the part of A Song of Ice and Fire in which Littlefinger kills Lysa (whoops, spoilers).
Not only do I consider The Peripheral EP to be the salvation of its past self, emotionally riveting and fun to review, but it also has a prominent didactic purpose; the caption “Got djentz” on the guitar on the artwork looks forlorn in contrast to the semiacoustic nature of aforementioned guitar, and I’m assuming that it was coloured orange for the purpose of seeming sickly. The crossed-out font that adorns the cover is simultaneously a negative image and NASA code that means “disregard whatever has been crossed out, enter hyperspeed, and – if possible – time-travel”. Finally, the name “Ornstein’s Puppy” is a reference to Ornstein the Great, a notorious Prussian warrior of ancient times who died after his hunting dog took a chunk out of his leg and it became infected. These signs couldn’t be clearer; the moral of The Peripheral EP is that evolution does not always bring music to heights as great as those that Ornstein’s Puppy achieves, as the music can just as easily wither, die and decay (for further analysis of this theme, see my Circle Takes the Square review). Therefore, it’s about as deep as an album can possible get, and – what the ***, just get it.