Periphery
Periphery


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kit Brown USER (73 Reviews)
April 20th, 2010 | 441 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Inevitably the sexiest metal album of the year.

Expectations can be a real bitch. Despite wanting to avoid any sort of pre-album hype, I’ve fell victim to this problem on multiple occasions and have occasionally ended up pretty disappointed (some recent examples being In Mourning’s Monolith and Veil of Maya’s [id]). This is the real advantage Periphery had with their exciting self-titled debut; I honestly had no clue what to expect from this new Washington DC native sextet. Periphery’s debut album combines some of the best elements of many of modern metal’s titans like Meshuggah, Between the Buried and Me, Sikth, and The Dillinger Escape Plan, yet still manages to concoct something fresh and unique even within the confines of their constant polyrhythmic guitar chugs.

What sets this apart from the majority of other bands currently infatuated with 8-string guitars is that they actually know how to utilize the crushing low end and pair it with a sense of melody (I’m looking at you, Divine Heresy). You’d be hard pressed to find a song on Periphery without hearing some sort of captivating guitar lead on top of the low-end frequencies, or a soaring and almost pop-punk influenced singing from frontman Spencer Sotelo. Spencer’s vocals are legitimately diverse and incredibly catchy, though than can border on whiny every now and then. That’s not to discredit his incredibly catchy vocals in songs like “Light”, “Letter Experiment” and their single, “Icarus Lives!”, the first two being some of the strongest overall material on the album. The vocals will undoubtedly be the most polarizing element for many new listeners of Periphery, as they stand out more than just about anything else in the album.

While the vocals occasionally border on cheese, I’m sure most listeners will be more concerned about how technically apt the other five band members are at their instruments. Periphery founder and principal songwriter, Misha Mansoor, hardly ever shows signs of weakness in songwriting. The only real exceptions to this could be in songs like “Zyglrox” and the stupidly titled “Ow My Feelings”, as they simply repeat past ideas that had already been delivered in a more effective manner earlier in the album’s 72 minute run-time. But when things really come together, they hit harder than almost any other metal album to be released in 2010. While the band is clearly fixated on hard-hitting polyrhythmic riffs, there’s almost always additional guitar lead or catchy riff on top of it, preventing a ton of riffs from becoming stale or repetitive. Shredders out there should look to songs like “All New Materials” and the fifteen minute epic “Racecar” for some of the most capable guitar playing this side of Necrophagist. Sure they don’t sound anything alike, but you get my point.

While Periphery certainly overstays its welcome (72 minutes is far too long for any band to play this type of music), there’s countless hooks, a dominating drum performance, and one of the best uses of 8-string guitars I’ve come across since Animals as Leaders debuted last year. It’s nice to see that a band touring with the likes of Emmure and Oceano, some of the ***tiest bands in American metal, showing a sense of class and dedication to their craft, while still fans of a live show plenty to latch onto with breakdowns, vocal hooks, and occasional soloing. While this isn’t the outright best metal album of the year, it’s right up there with The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Option Paralysis and Sigh’s Scenes from Hell for one of my favorites.

Thor’s Top Three:
Light
All New Materials
Racecar



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user ratings (1739)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Jake Madaffari (3.5)
    Misha Mansoor's mind broken down into the form of an album. And what an album....

    Idioteque (2)
    Moving swiftly on from Periphery I......

    SatelliteYears (4)
    Periphery: Love that shit! Sumerian Records cranks out another winner......

    mrodizzle (3.5)
    "On this album you'll hear heavy metal - a genre music from the future!"...

  • ma7erick (4)
    Periphery current and american sound is very predictable, and you can hear it everywhere, ...

    Caleb McAlpine (3.5)
    ...

    Ian W. (2.5)
    Sumerian Records have finally signed a band that does more than just CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUG...

    Jake C. Taylor (4)
    The brainchild of Misha Mansoor at last presents itself as an album....

  • J. Ponton EMERITUS (3)
    A little too long and underwhelming, but there are some great ideas at work here....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Thor
April 20th 2010


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Posted this somewhere else first and decided what the hell why not

Yazz_Flute
April 20th 2010


18787 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I gave in and bought this on itunes haha. Will listen.

Pos'd the review, it's ridiculous how popular this album has become without me hearing it. Came out of nowhere.

Digging: Finch (US) - Say Hello to Sunshine

JWT155
April 20th 2010


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ Same, didn't know about these guys until late last week.

Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

porch
April 20th 2010


8460 Comments


nothing special

JWT155
April 20th 2010


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Like you.

bloc
April 20th 2010


34872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Uh oh......

porch
April 20th 2010


8460 Comments


good one man

Emim
April 20th 2010


26625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What's with the sudden influx of Periphery reviews?

JWT155
April 20th 2010


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Porchular - That's what she said.

Emim
April 20th 2010


26625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Crap, sorry for messing up your comeback.

JWT155
April 20th 2010


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's all good man.

Yazz_Flute
April 20th 2010


18787 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is disgustingly heavy.

Emim
April 20th 2010


26625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is disgustingly heavy.


That's what she said.

JWT155
April 20th 2010


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

*High Fives Emim

Emim
April 20th 2010


26625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

*hive fives JWT*

I like this album, haven't listened to it enough to rate it solidly. Thinking around a 4 atm.

JWT155
April 20th 2010


9262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is probably more a 4 then a 4.5 for me but this has been the first album by a new band that I can remember for the longest time that has grabbed my attention like this.

Thor
April 20th 2010


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That's exactly where I was at last week. But after realizing that this album is too damn long was what made me lower my rating. I'm still hooked by it though.

Yazz_Flute
April 20th 2010


18787 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah this is sounding like a 4.5 first listen to me, but the length IS intimidating.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2010


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I still have to hear this, but for some reason I'm hesitant and I think I won't like it.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

Emim
April 20th 2010


26625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

har har har. TWSS bait.



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