Periphery
Periphery II: This Time It's Personal


3.5
great

Review

by Joe Denby USER (17 Reviews)
June 28th, 2012 | 178 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unrefined and intriguing. Bloated and impressive.

Periphery have, since their inception, had the wonderful quality of being naïve towards their own presence and expectations. Naming the album “Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal” and several tracks after niche role playing game weapons should alone affirm that a self conscious awareness does not pervade the band’s process (in part because the above is incredibly lame, but I digress). The band flips from song to song with utter disregard for anything other than their own enjoyment, experimentation rampant throughout in a genre which frequently walks the tight rope of homogeneity (mea culpa, Meshuggah). From the bizarre, and yet somewhat fitting, violin led introduction to “Have A Blast” to the acoustic outro in “Froggin’ Bullfish”, the liberated and unconventional approach of the album is dictated by their whims, and not simply the aspirations of the Mansoor generated media storm.

At an enormous and entirely unnecessary seventy minute run time, the band has learned nothing from previous criticisms regarding length. Songs like “Ji” and “The Gods Must Be Crazy!” add absolutely nothing to the record except for dead weight, and the entire album is littered with minutes upon minutes of filler, sections which are useless and instantly forgettable. Repetitive and generic chug fests are no longer an incessant feature, a welcome change for someone who grew increasingly bored of attempting to differentiate one from another on their previous effort. This frees up space for the subtle tonal change of the album, one of more commonplace lighter repose and Sotelo’s clean vocals. Rather than “going soft”, this serves only to make the riffs and guttural screams more contrasting and impactful when they do appear e.g. the break-in several minutes into “Masamune”. More than that though, the band show their capacity to not rely on the sound they established previously. “Erised” is an incontestable standout performance in the album, yet is unrecognisably smooth and placid, exempt of breakdowns and screams. Previous fans may not embrace such changes, but it’s undoubtedly a step forward artistically. In an entirely contrasting ideal, “Ragnarock” is an impressively brutal monolith which pays direct homage to their debut, right down to the reprisal of “Racecar”. Such flexibility is impressive.

Much has been made of Sotelo’s progression as a vocalist, comparisons to Protest The Hero’s Rody Walker being thrown as both criticism and congratulation. Though still not without its imperfections (judging by the extravagant vocal contortions throughout, Spencer’s never heard the phrase “walk before you can run”), the vocals are leaps and bounds ahead of the airy, somewhat unfulfilling affair of their self titled. The soaring eruption of “ourselves” on the opening “Murumasa” alone speaks of a vocalist maturing and advancing far past less courageous tendencies.

The instrumentation is technically proficient, wildly variable and extremely overindulgent (the band wear their influences on their sleeves when they included a solo from Dream Theater ’s Petrucci). Solos and instrumental sections allow every member to demonstrate their capabilities to no small degree, but to begrudge such unrestrained musical wankery would be to deny what is enjoyable about the band’s efforts. This album, though significantly improved in various areas, is still markedly immature and unsophisticated in structure, but there’s something intensely charming about that. There are palpable flaws and criticisms inherent to this gambled approach, but Periphery are talented enough that many of these self gratifying risks actually work. It may not produce a cohesive, consistent masterstroke, but it’s certainly novel, and enjoyable in no small part.



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user ratings (1197)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • AaronBatt (3.5)
    Periphery takes a bunch of very, very small baby-steps forward......

    Madej (4)
    Interesting and varied, this album comes packed with content. And although Periphery buckl...

    peartnoy (4)
    No sophomore slump to be found here!...

    Alex Beebe (3.5)
    An overstuffed bombardment that may leave listeners not retaining much, but it's still a b...

  • Jake C. Taylor (2.5)
    If Periphery II didn’t essentially sound like, well, Periphery the second, I might be si...

    Idioteque (3)
    Ignore my other review, this is better...

    Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (3)
    Periphery changes their sound to focus on the melodic. More than being good or bad, it's m...

    Daniel Davis (5)
    A more focused and structured effort all around, and a truly remarkable listen....


Comments:Add a Comment 
BirthRite
June 28th 2012


1318 Comments


lol




DirEnRefused
June 28th 2012


2190 Comments


Stream's here:

http://themusic.com.au/listen/all/periphery-two/



MO
June 28th 2012


18867 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

and so it begins

ChuckyTruant
June 28th 2012


15725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

lol. here we go. *listening now*

Digging: Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime

Evreaia
June 28th 2012


4045 Comments


I agree with this rating.

ChuckyTruant
June 28th 2012


15725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

seems less instrumentally imppressive/creative as the s/t so far

Relinquished
June 28th 2012


25219 Comments


"and so it begins"

I expect 2-3 more reviews by today

MMX
June 28th 2012


4831 Comments


Enjoying this more than the s/t so far

ChuckyTruant
June 28th 2012


15725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

^ opposite for me

MO
June 28th 2012


18867 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

wolfe have you listened to this steaming pile yet?

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2012


21476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yay for another bloated album. some great stuff on here but not as good as the s/t

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

YoYoMancuso
June 28th 2012


11154 Comments


haven't given it a spin yet but this was a solid review man good job

paradox1216
June 28th 2012


503 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wonderful review, though given my own I respectfully disagree in some areas.

Digging: Yellowcard - Lift a Sail

Relinquished
June 28th 2012


25219 Comments


"wolfe have you listened to this steaming pile yet?"

man I won't degrade myself to this. I read that his vocals improved but that's not enough to warrant myself to listen.

MO
June 28th 2012


18867 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yea I feel filthy after that, blasting Nothing right now

ChuckyTruant
June 28th 2012


15725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

lol

KILL
June 28th 2012


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

lol riff come on even you must realise DEI is better than this fuckin shit fuck

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

Wolfhorde
June 28th 2012


13649 Comments


this is probably a 2.5 at best.

KILL
June 28th 2012


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

agreed

KILL
June 28th 2012


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

have u even heard sublevels poser bitchass



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