Review Summary: An average release coming from an experienced band
Periphery is one of those bands you either love or hate. I would say that I definitely find their first album and their instrumental album on my top twenty. Both show their musicianship in a way that is appealing to almost everyone. Almost. They definitely have the talent to make some very impressive work, which is why Periphery II: This Time It's Personal, was such a disappointment to me. It could have been a million times better, but I found it lack luster, wanting something more from it. So when they announced their new EP, Clear, I saw it as a way for them to redeem themselves. Waiting a few months to buy it, the day came for me to finally listen to Periphery's newest addition to their discography. And I must say, I was still a little disappointed.
Clear starts off with "Overture," which I enjoy for the piano parts in the song. It is mainly focused on showing how Periphery an layer their songs, which it does. The guitars on top of the piano and strings is a good opening to the EP. With no vocals, it still held my attention. The next song is "The Summer Jam," showing off Spencer Sotelo's vocals. It goes for more of a classic metal feel with some djent showing its head later on. Spencer holds his own well in the song, keeping me hooked line after line. The guitars are what you expect from a djent band, solos in-between breakdowns. The breakdowns have a very chuggy feel to them, which I personally like. The drums hold well, keeping the beat and adding a few fills. The bass is inaudible, but adds some kick to the guitars during the breakdowns. Lyrically, "The Summer Jam" is not perfect. With mediocre lyrics throughout the extended play, it brings down every aspect of Periphery's musicianship
Thirdly on the album is "Feed the Ground," which still has a very classic metal feel to it. I think this is one of the best songs on the album. The guitars and bass hold a groovy riff after the choruses. Spencer definitely didn't hold back on this song either. Hitting an intensely high note before the second chorus, he delivers in every second of this song. The guitars also have great riffs in the middle of the song, keeping the song from becoming stale. The drums are fast and keep things fresh in the backround throughout this song. This song is also lyrically better than most songs on this EP, making it memorable just for that reason. "Zero" is next, delivering one of the grooviest riffs in the album. It automatically hooked me. While the rest of the song is a little lack luster, the opening definitely kept my attention. Also adding good synth in the backround kept the song from becoming too old, too fast. The song is definitely an average djent song, but it does a good job of grabbing your attention. Fifthly is "The Parade of Ashes," which is another highlight of the album. It pushes everything to its limit, keeping me hooked from start to finish with impressive hooks from Spencer and great chugging from the guitars.
The last two songs, 'Extraneous" and 'Pale Aura," could have been produced better, making some riffs forced rather than smooth like the other songs. The riffs in "Extraneous" seemed awkward to me, while "Pale Aura" would have been fine with out them in my opinion. While these songs leave the EP on bad terms, I quite enjoyed Clear. While the EP is an improvement from Periphery II, it still leaves me with the same lack luster feeling, while not as bad.
Hey man, seems you're relatively new and don't review too much, so I'm gonna try to give you some pointers.
This is a stream of consciousness type review, which is a very valid approach, but here it just really doesn't flow well. The statement about lyrics is just kinda inserted into the end of the second paragraph for no reason, instead of a place where it would have made more sense.
Also, it really does seem like you're trying to give the sound of the album a good description, which is important as hell, but you don't really give much detail about any of it. You don't go into detail about much of anything, really. In the first paragraph, you say you didn't like Periphery II, but you don't explain WHY you didn't like it. What changed from the first album that you didn't like that you saw repeated here? that could have been the basis for a great review. but you just said it was "missing something", which gives us no idea at all. It's about as useful as not saying anything at all.
The beginning of the second paragraph is probably the highlight of the review, although it could have been worded better. You describe the sound adequately. But then it just gets worse - what does "classic metal" mean? it's a term that has so many meanings that it's worse than meaningless.
The ending statement is probably the worst part. You say you enjoyed it, but it leaves you feeling disappointed, but not as bad as Periphery II did, which you never explained why it disappointed you in the first place. So we have no scale to judge this statement on other than your rating, which I HATE to go by because I hate the idea that opinions can be conveyed accurately using numbers. And as pointed out by SitarHero, earlier in the paragraph you word something so confusingly as to imply that the song Pale Aura would have been better without any riffs at all. And you imply that the production made the songwriting bad, which is just too weird for me to even address, really. I'm sure you meant something else there, but it just wasn't articulated well.
That all probably sounded really harsh, but it's just stuff to keep in mind when you write future reviews. All and all this could have been much worse for a second review, so keep writing man ^_^
They've written boatloads of songs outside the two albums. Periphery has been a band since 2006. Band members have played with several other bands... Lead Guitarist/Songwriter Bulb works with Tosin Abasi...