Review Summary: "...great atmospheric moments and intensity - though some aspects can drown that out."
A melodic and atmospheric tone is a great thing to have on an album when done right; it can be a hit or miss sometimes - maybe it's too soft and whiny for my liking, or it can come across as warm and mellow.
When it comes to the progressive metal band Periphery, their second album makes me feel both aspects - there definitely some electronic elements on this album as well as certain styles that many might not be able to get past.
The vocalist Spencer Sotelo displays two distinct contrasting styles of vocals on this project; rugged growls and higher, nasally, cleaner vocals.
Don't get me wrong more often than not I'll end up having a rough time with the latter style when it's put in the mix of such powerful riffs and growls - but after a few listens, I actually got used to the singing a lot more than I thought I would.
Let's get this straight, the singer does the style very while although it's not for everyone - they are at their best when they are softer mellifluous on tracks like "Have a Blast", "Facepalm Mute", "Ji", "Luck as a Constant", and "Froggin' bullfish".
Though when the nasally vocals get too excited like on "Muramasa", "Scarlet", "Make Total Destroy" and "Erised" they can come off as whiny or cheesy to me, they are better off sounding more melodic, there's just more charm when it's like that.
The rugged vocals are nothing much to write home about for the most part, but they pair well with the production and heart-pounding guitars - it's gives a hard and thick sound to a lot of the tracks which I quite like.
The lyrics are suitable and ample - by themself they sound like they have some narrative aspects and could probably come off as being a concept to some people;
"Forty days and nights I've spent alone
The shadow hungry angel inside of me grows cold
Bloodshed on my mind
A slave to these walls
Get away from the life sucking call
Set me free."
Though it can be hard to take them serious at the times where it sounds like something straight out of pop punk, but again it's still well done and there are some killer high notes - it's just not something I'd listen to everyday.
The album could also be cut down a little bit, some tracks are just not memorable like "Mile Zero" or just pointless like "Epoch".
There's definitely something to enjoy on this album, a lot of tracks are worth listening to for great atmospheric moments and intensity - though some aspects can drown that out such as the vocals or un-memorable moments.
The more mellow vocals, the production, some lyrics, "Have a Blast", "Facepalm Mute", "Ji", parts of "Ragnarok", parts of "The Gods Must Be Crazy", "Froggin' bullfish", parts of "Masamune"
A lot of whiny vocals, un-memorable moments, "Muramasa", "Scarlet", "Luck as a Constant", "Make Total Destroy", "Erised", "Epoch", "Mile Zero"
Daddy's Little Girl: Have a Blast
The Son I Never Wanted: Epoch