Review Summary: "On this album you'll hear heavy metal - a genre music from the future!"
I already know what you are thinking - Sumerian records.. chugga chug, hints and glimpses of prog, "Sumerian-core" as it were? If that's the case, you are somewhat right. Periphery fits into that standard in some ways, but in others does not. The band and album has been in the works for some time, in many cases before the existence of many well known Sumerian bands. Formed by guitarist Misha Mansoor in 2005, Periphery was his project (known then as Bulb) and he gained attention and built a reputation over the internet by posting songs and demos he wrote and recorded himself. Having worked with various musicians between 2005 and 2009, Periphery formed and announced their signing to Sumerian in 2009.
This being their debut album, there were a lot of speculations and expectations. Mansoor fans had heard many of the songs, including "Icarus Lives!" in their early demo stages, but had yet to hear album fully produced and polished, along with the vocals of Spencer Sotelo.
The music itself is exciting. Think of Animals as Leaders with virtuosity and chug, and add in edgy vocals. The tone is awesome - it's obvious that Misha has been working on honing this for some time. All instruments and programming sound great, and it really makes for a disctinct sound. The album has plenty of hooks, plenty of chugs, and is sure to please the prog fan as well as the metal fan.
My two complains would be these: First, the album is long as hell. 13 songs, 74:40, including "Racecar", a 15+ minute work that is just before the end of the record. I really enjoy the song, but at that point the listener is almost worn out, and beginning to forget what happened earlier in the record. Secondly, as much as I enjoy Spencer Sotelo's singing and screaming voice, his lyrics are a bit lacking. Most of them are quite vague, and it is hard to tell what a lot of this album is about, or if any of it is connected in any way.
Overall though I am impressed - this album is very exciting. I know some people who have been fans of Misha's work for years, and they are giving me the "I told you so" treatment. I suppose it's deserved. "Periphery. Love that ***!"