Periphery
Clear


3.5
great

Review

by Daniel Davis USER (33 Reviews)
January 28th, 2014 | 49 replies | 4,589 views


Release Date: 01/28/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Clear ends up sounding more like a mixtape than a proper EP, but Periphery are having as much fun as they always have.

13 of 13 thought this review was well written

Periphery is one of the more polarizing bands in today’s progressive metal scene. For every squealing fanboy they attract, there’s a detractor that’s just as vocal about their feelings towards the group. Whether you like them or not, the fact that they evoke such reaction from both sides makes them an important band. They tend to set trends just as much as they follow them, and this case is a little of both. “Clear” is a self-described “experimental” EP by the band, the concept being that each member was given a unifying melody and told to run with it, each being in charge of a separate song. If this sounds like it would yield something incredibly schizophrenic, you would be right – and yet it doesn't stray far enough from the band’s signature sound to win over any staunch critics. But for the already converted, Clear presents a side of Periphery that’s different enough to keep you interested and familiar enough to keep you comfortable.

The tracks contributed by the guitarists are the most similar to the band’s previous work. “The Summer Jam” and “Pale Aura” are fast, upbeat, and densely melodic, while band founder Misha Mansoor’s track “Zero” plays like a more realized version of his early groove-influenced demos from the band’s formative years. The real departures are found in the tracks from the rhythm and vocal section – Spencer Sotelo sounds right at home on his industrial rock material, bassist Nolly Getgood channels Blotted Science, SikTh, and Meshuggah into his instrumental track, and drummer Matt Halpern brings a sort of progressive nu-metal to the mix with “Feed The Ground”. It would have been nice to see Periphery take more risks with a record of this nature – labeling something “experimental” is almost a free pass to get away with throwing in whatever you want to and see if it works. But the songs that are here are well structured and memorable, and in the long run that’s more important than experimentation by itself.

Periphery has always been noted for their production, which is also a dividing factor; some consider their work over-produced, while others find it to be ear candy. Clear doesn't stray from the band’s extremely high audio standards, living up to its name perfectly. It’s a slight step down from what was found on the previous album, but for something produced in a much quicker time span, it’s still something to marvel at.

Clear ends up sounding more like a mixtape of well-produced demos than anything remotely cohesive as a whole. But that’s to be expected of a recording of this nature. We’re so used to wanting our music polished to a mirror shine that it’s become hard to enjoy something for what it is – not perfect, but an example of a band truly having fun with its craft and doing something unique, even if the results play out as basically fan service to the nth degree. But there are worse things than giving the fans what they want, and Clear is worth checking out by any fan of modern progressive metal.



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user ratings (302)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
NarlusKing123 (3)
An average release coming from an experienced band...

HeavyReviews (3)
It's not that the songs are bad. The music sounds very well produced and methodical. But the origina...

Alex Beebe (2.5)
Like most experiments of its ilk, the Clear EP is too hit-or-miss to be ultimately satisfying to eve...


Comments:Add a Comment 
paradox1216
January 28th 2014



456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I realize I will probably get crucified for writing a positive Periphery review, especially when my first review here was a fanboyish review of their last album, but I feel like this deserved a more positive write up in addition to the already great neutral one.

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Calc
January 28th 2014



12147 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

good review dude

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spookynewghostfriend
January 28th 2014



3370 Comments


posd

SitarHero
January 28th 2014



4661 Comments


Rating is a bit high, but it's a pretty fair and balanced review. Pale Aura is one of the best Periphery songs regardless of medium I think.

paradox1216
January 28th 2014



456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I loved the old haunted shores stuff that Mark did, and I'm glad that sound continues to make its way into Periphery.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2014



20795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review and i agree with everything except feed the ground being the worst track. in fact i would take out that entire sentence, it would flow better without it me thinks

pos

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VermTheInquisitor
January 28th 2014



489 Comments


Feed the ground is just a normal modern metal song

LilLioness
January 28th 2014



2496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Is everyone still going on about the Kanye thing?

Also, I forgot to mention that despite disliking him, I can't not like "Power".

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2014



20795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea but its heavy as fuck and the chorus rules

wait lil, where did kanye come from??

LilLioness
January 28th 2014



2496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Like you know when that conversation happened two weeks ago?

conesmoke
January 28th 2014



5199 Comments


As long as they're having fun.

paradox1216
January 28th 2014



456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

By weather channel music I mean like the music that plays during the local on the 8s

paradox1216
January 28th 2014



456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoops wrong review XD

And not so much going on about the kanye thing as much as just playfully noting the similarities

SirDrumsalot
January 28th 2014



1538 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wish my local news would play this music during the weather! It would make it a lot more interesting.
Although, they were playing Primus in the background just the other day during a science experiment segment...I thought that was pretty cool.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
January 28th 2014



20795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Like you know when that conversation happened two weeks ago?


oh i just noticed kanye in the rec'd albums

yeah lets just pretend convo that never happened...

paradox1216
January 28th 2014



456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sir Drumsalot, you should check out the new Sithu Aye EP, which is the review i meant to post that on. it's perfect for Local on the 8s

gordodustin
January 29th 2014



117 Comments


Good review, however 'Feed the Ground' is far from the worst on this album. In my opinion the instrumental tracks are quite boring, especially 'Zero' which contributes nothing new to the record at all.

AlexTM510
February 24th 2014



1400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

excellent review, i pretty much agree with everything you said

paradox1216
March 9th 2014



456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Edited to take out the comment about Feed The Ground being the worst song since I no longer feel that way.

scottpilgrim10
March 9th 2014



3026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I liked this EP a lot more than I probably should.

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