Periphery
Periphery III: Select Difficulty


3.2
good

Review

by Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF
July 21st, 2016 | 621 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Periphery III: This Time It's The Same As Last Time

Writing about Periphery has become something of a song and dance at this point. A very regularly metered one, at that.

A new album, usually entitled Periphery X: Non Sequitur! comes out, gripes are made about Spencer Sotelo's singing (which, I'll admit, I've come to enjoy as his voice has finally found a palatable niche in Periphery's music). The reviewer then chooses to address whether Periphery are too melodic or not melodic enough (I'm in the latter camp), and everyone agrees with a broad statement that this is good, but a band with this much talent could do so much better.

The problem with Periphery isn't even in the music anymore - the music on Periphery III: Select Difficulty is actually pretty good, and even grows on you with time. It's catchy and, in my opinion, pretty fun. The problem isn't that this is a bad album; the problem is that after three LPs and a double album, I should have to go off script to discuss this album.

But I don't have to. Not really, at least.

Periphery III (omission of sophomoric subtitle intentional and to be continued for the duration of this review) strikes almost immediately as another half-hearted flirtation with melody and a half-hearted attempt to maintain the band's chaotic and polyrhythmic roots. Sure, maybe it's another quarter inch of toe in the melody pool than its predecessors, but how much more can we really analyze the snail's pace at which the band pursue the sound that, in my humble opinion, is their most appealing" When it's counterbalanced by weighty, posturing tunes like "The Price is Wrong" (someone please fire the guy who names things in the Periphery camp) and "Motormouth," it's hard to conjecture that the band are honing in on a specific sound. Instead, Periphery seem content to fold their arms at the crossroads of two distinct musical intersections and have a seat.

Not everything's entirely stale, though. On the whole, the djent factor of the album is lower than most others (spare, perhaps, Juggernaut: Alpha) and the inclusion of orchestral elements throughout makes things feel a little more open, inviting, and intriguing. The use of a chorus on "Marigold" also proves a smart and effective way to change things up, while the digitized bitcrushing included on "Remain Indoors" puts a tasty spin on an effect that's fairly common to the subgenre. Speaking of which, "Remain Indoors" is a strong fusion of Periphery's penchant for the heavy and prowess with catchy, more traditionally structured songs. I'd be keen to say that perhaps it'd make a good blueprint for the future, but we all know what history suggests for Periphery IV: From Fear Through the Eyes of Your Mom!

And the rest" The rest is basically the same as it was last time. Maybe a little more color added to the coloring book. Maybe the lines are a little more solid than they had been previously, but it's the same story, the same cheesy lyrics, and the same edgy semi-progressive metalcore that's going to appeal to meatheads and high school social outcasts who just want to listen to "something heavy, bruh" (but will secretly cry along to the lyrics of "Absolomb" after they suffer "the most pain anyone has ever known" from a recent breakup).

So in lieu of a real conclusion, here is a summary of which tracks fall into which expected and well-known Periphery stereotypes:

Tough guy "COME AT ME BRO" tracks: "The Price is Wrong," "Motormouth,"
Pop-driven melodic metalcore with a sensitive bent: "Marigold," "The Way The News Goes...," "Flatline," "Absolomb"
Songs that will confuse people attempting to mosh at the live show: "Remain Indoors," "Habitual Line-Stepper," "Prayer Position"
"Sensitive" songs with sweet grooves hindered by lyrics that fit the hair metal and/or nu metal movement(s): "Catch Fire," "Lune"



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user ratings (436)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Insurrection CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Periphery’s weakest outing remains a fun summer jam....

TalonsOfFire STAFF (2)
Periphery III: Now even more overstuffed with ideas!...

BeyondCosby (4.5)
Periphery III: This Time it Actually Is Personal...



Comments:Add a Comment 
AtomicWaste
Moderator
July 20th 2016


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this.



Album is ok. Hardcore Periphery fans will probably love this. People on the sidelines like me are still looking for that breakthrough album.

Digging: Benjamin Clementine - I Tell A Fly

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2016


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

This is easily their worst album. Good review Atomic, to be safe I guess I'll wait until the release date to post mine. Even though they've already released most of the songs by now lol

Digging: Tame Impala - Currents B-Sides & Remixes

ashcrash9
July 20th 2016


2804 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, nice style to the writing.

This does have some of their less good stuff (the first two tracks are among the band's worst and easily their worst opening tracks to date) but the highlights for me (Marigold, Flatline, Lune, etc.) more than make up for it. Then again I dig virtually everything by these guys so my word is kind of irrelevant.

AtomicWaste
Moderator
July 20th 2016


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Thanks, man. Yeah, unfortunately I had to tell Ins to wait as well. We got a stream through Prosthetic that I was fortunate enough to get access to to do the review.



I think the album's value depends on what part of their style you prefer (this emphasizes the melodic, catchy stuff). I dig some of the tracks (despite the lyrics, "Catch Fire" is pretty cool) but it just hurts that they're spinning their wheels.

Durrzo
July 20th 2016


1475 Comments


Dig the review.

This is their worst, by a considerable amount, imo. It has a few moments but ehhh. I too would prefer that they move into more melodic territory. I think all of my favorite songs and moments from them were when they stopped djent chugging so much and wrote some really lovely melodies. I know they can do it, they just don't like to go all in on that sound for some reason.

Honestly the first two tracks on this album are just shit. And I say that as a pretty big fan of the band.

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2016


2124 Comments


Heh, nice review, Atomic. I like the frankness with which you basically say "eh, you already know what you're in for"

Have no doubt this is dreadful tho I pity your lobez

BigPleb
July 20th 2016


51480 Comments


Great review atomic dude.

These guys have been on a downward slope since their debut, man that album has some great cuts but what happened?

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2016


16799 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Gotchya Atomic, that's what I assumed.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 21st 2016


8452 Comments


Periphery XI: This Time It's More of a Smart-Casual Thing, Although if You Want to Wear Shorts, I'm Sure Diane Won't Mind. Just Remember to Bring a Bottle of Wine.

Digging: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Polygondwanaland

MistaCrave
July 21st 2016


2475 Comments


Periphery IV: This time We've Run Out of New Color Combinations for Our Album Artwork

0GuyMan0
July 21st 2016


888 Comments


Sounds like they will continue their trend of FUCKING BRILLIANT (...for two or three tracks per album)

silentstar
July 21st 2016


2501 Comments


i need to know if they've written another Letter Experiment or Luck as a Constant because i haven't listened to this band since album 2 and those are the only songs i revisit

Snide
July 21st 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album slays

I enjoyed this a lot more than their previous efforts.

OwMySnauze
July 21st 2016


1683 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I lost interest in these guys after they put out that horrible Clear EP and Alpha/Omega. But I'll probably check this out in full. I dug some of the released tracks on this.

pjquinones747
July 21st 2016


1526 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I want to be a bigger Periphery fan than I am because I know these guys have the talent, but much like you I haven't felt them quite break out yet. Each of their albums flash brilliance and have become a fairly big fan because of it but they seem to fail in the same places each time like they can't learn from their mistakes. I'm sure I'll feel very similar to the way you do about this record judging from the singles. It's actually shaping up to be my least favorite release by them.

Digging: The Used - The Canyon

Tunaboy45
July 21st 2016


15609 Comments


This band is just so boring, great review though and even though I haven't heard it I'm sure you nailed it with the summary.

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

PickleVai17
July 21st 2016


196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To the reviewer, i respect your opinion but dont agree with it. Periphery have that kinda signature sound, but imo have managed to make every album sound different. The added strings, the blast beat choruses, the many different things spencer does vocally, i could go on, but when i see the headline for this review, i just dont get why you think that. But like i said, its your opinion

ashcrash9
July 21st 2016


2804 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^Disagree there. Sure, the orchestral bits add a nice flair and are a legitimately different touch than we've seen in the past, but they're not in each track and they hardly change the core of the band's sound. If anything, the change that most sticks out to me here is the lack of electronic interludes, but they were already transitioning through that with Juggernaut.

Didn't mention this in my earlier comment but I do agree this is the band's weakest album to date, though I think so less because it's formulaic and more because the actual tracks on here are super hit or miss for me.

bloc
July 21st 2016


44323 Comments


Gotta admit I was wrong about this album. It isn't as good as the first 2, but it is WAY better than that Sigma and Omicron shit they released before this one.

Not sure how long the novelty will last, and while that 'Booty Disgusting Blud" song is crap, I say this is a pretty enjoyable album.

Digging: Beastmilk - Climax

PistolPete
July 21st 2016


4493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Can't wait to listen to this, should have some good jams, ya know bruh?

Digging: Sarin - Darker Lakes



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