Periphery
Periphery (Instrumental)


4.5
superb

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
November 19th, 2012 | 57 replies | 10,347 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Djent done right.

Upon the release of Periphery’s self-titled debut album in 2010, the Maryland based sextet quickly gained notoriety among the metal scene seemingly overnight. In reality, their fanbase was built up years prior to its release over the Internet since guitarist Misha Mansoor whored his music around various music forums under the alias Bulb. Once his project gave birth to the Periphery we know today, their unique take on progressive metal fit with polyrhythmic chugging ala Meshuggah and soaring alternative vocals both alienated and drew in new listeners to their sound. The one gripe that is almost universal among Periphery haters though is the near omnipresence of their vocalist Spencer Sotelo; which is not with some basis, the basis being that he’s really not a metal vocalist. On Periphery, his borderline boy-band alt rock vocals stuck out like a sore thumb over the techy instrumentals, and while personally I think they’re a welcome change from the typical mundane metalcore cleans filling the music industry nowadays, it’s easy to see how they could turn off a potential fan from enjoying the band. Not to mention the fact that some loyal fans of Bulb’s instrumentals were incredibly disappointed after Periphery scrambled through vocalist after vocalist and eventually settled with Spencer. Enter Periphery (Instrumental).

The term “djent” is often tossed around when discussing Periphery. As much as I despise that term with a fiery passion, to some extent it’s a good indicator of what Periphery sounds like. The guitars have a certain crunch to them – a robotic attack that gives them a beautifully gritty timbre when chugged. ‘The Walk’ and ‘Zyglrox’ showcase this best. They’re easily the heaviest songs on the record, focusing on the dissonant side of Periphery with the latter even dipping into death metal territory. On the opposite side of the spectrum, ‘Jetpacks Was Yes!’ is probably the most accessible song on the record and wouldn’t be too out of place on an alternative rock record, sans its distorted guitar riff two-thirds into the song. Genre experimentation aside, Periphery, at its core, is a progressive metal band. The most blatantly progressive song on the album is closer ‘Racecar’ - a 15-minute culmination of their most experimental, forward thinking melodies leading up to the song’s gorgeous climax before fading out.

The Meshuggah comparisons on Periphery (Instrumental) are inevitable, and after the brief ambient build up in album opener ‘Insomnia’, the polyrhythmic barrage of tight chugging begins. Fortunately, the beginning of ‘Insomnia’ is the closest they come to ripping them off. The bridge of the song is where Periphery truly separate themselves from similar artists since Meshuggah would be caught dead before putting an Aphex Twin Richard D. James Album-esque drill-n-bass clean passage in one of their songs. While it’s not one of the strongest songs on the record, ‘Insomnia’ does an excellent job of setting the tone of the album before getting into the truly exceptional material found in the later tracks. ‘Buttersnips’, one of the longest songs and also one of the heaviest, has a stunning tapping solo along with Periphery’s usual electronic tinge present throughout. Speaking of electronics, Periphery (Instrumental) flows seamlessly as one piece of music, each song seguing into the next through the use of ambient electronic passages or soothing piano progressions (‘Totla Mad’). On a technical level, it’s impossible to deny Periphery’s talented rhythm section. All three of their guitarists, yes three guitarists, have specific roles on each song without ever muddying up their sound. Drummer Matt Halpern also does a fantastic job at keeping up with them, whether it’s from his synchronized double bass hits or straight up blast beats.

Unfortunately Periphery (Instrumental) is by no means a perfect album. While each song is enjoyable individually, the 72-minute run time of similar style songs does get a bit tiresome. Another drawback is some underwhelming tracks near the end of the record, specifically ‘Totla Mad’ and ‘Ow My Feelings’. While these tracks are excellent in their own right, their monotonous song structures and lack of new ideas would make their presence much more appealing on a separate EP or having them saved for a later release. Despite its minor flaws, however, Periphery created a superb instrumental album. Their fresh take on progressive metal and absence of a vocalist on this record make Periphery (Instrumental) a fantastic release hinting towards a potentially even more promising future for Periphery.



Recent reviews by this author
Within the Ruins PhenomenaSonic Syndicate Sonic Syndicate
Origin OmnipresentMuse Dead Star/In Your World
Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2Black Tongue Born Hanged
user ratings (375)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ThroneOfAgony
November 18th 2012



3485 Comments


oh god......

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2012



20655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

controversial reviews ftw

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

climactic
November 18th 2012



18352 Comments


Fortunately, the beginning of ‘Insomnia’ is the closest they come to ripping them off


or the entire song of the walk

good review tho

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2012



10011 Comments


Really good review, man. You'll get a shit-ton of negs for this, but it's just because people are silly. I enjoyed the read, and I may have to check out these guys soon. =]

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

mindleviticus
November 18th 2012



8171 Comments


Yeah without Spencer this is a 4.5

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2012



20655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

much appreciated omaha, and you definitely should. periphery is the only 'djent' band i really enjoy.

Tyrael
November 18th 2012



20740 Comments


TesseracT you fuckers

bloc
November 18th 2012



34679 Comments


I'd take the vocal one over this any day. Instrumental versions of metal songs usually get boring for me quick.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Tyrael
November 18th 2012



20740 Comments


Oh and a lot of Cloudkicker's new stuff is pretty djent-y

mindleviticus
November 18th 2012



8171 Comments


TesseracT is sweet

KjSwantko
November 18th 2012



9054 Comments


Will listen to this and see if my opinion of this shit band changes.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2012



10011 Comments


Insurrection, write more!

Tyrael
November 18th 2012



20740 Comments


You also have bands like Twelve Foot Ninja which aren't djent but their music is filled with junz

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2012



20655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

im trying man. i wrote 5 reviews this month which is a new record for me lol

mindleviticus
November 18th 2012



8171 Comments


yeah this review is sweet

SlMBOLlC
November 18th 2012



4833 Comments


insurrection wrote a periphery review
run for cover

Calc
November 18th 2012



12028 Comments


"I'd take the vocal one over this any day. Instrumental versions of metal songs usually get boring for me quick."

unless its meant to be instrumental, this.


Digging: Kashiwa Daisuke - April. #02

Animus
November 18th 2012



70 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Periphery is butts with vocals, but this is almost bearable. I'd still take Tesseract over this any day.

alachlahol
November 18th 2012



7477 Comments


Summary: Djent done right.


stopped reading here

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2012



20655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

never understood the appeal of tesseract



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy