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periphery peripheryii
Artist: Periphery
Title: Periphery II
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date: 13th July 2012
Label: Century Media Records


Album Review

It seems like U.S. based Prog Metal group PERIPHERY has been extremely busy ever since their debut back in 2010. With tours, an EP, and now their sophomore effort unleashed just barely two years after their debut, it looks as if these guys do nothing but play music. Unlike their debut, however, ‘II’ is much more cohesive and not as brain rattling; it seems like all the members wrote this together as opposed to one or two people writing the music and everyone else filling in. The music, of course, is still far from typical- there are moments of raging guitar chaos, quiet psychedelic calm, danceable beats, and even an inclusion of a few guests like a guitar solo from DREAM THEATER’s John Petrucci (although it can be hard to tell when his solo comes in on the track ‘Erised’). Most average Metal fans will probably find it too jarring, but those looking into Progressive Metal groups like BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME or THE SAFETY FIRE will find this quite appealing.

One thing PERIPHERY has done is thrown in a lot more of the clean vocal singing amongst the harsh bellowing. Some might consider this a sell-out move, but it definitely suits the whole Prog genre much better than being considered the heavier version of Post Metal. Tracks like ‘Faceplam Mute’ have the typical harsh verse, clean chorus style but there are plenty of stop n’ go moments for technicality mixed with the looping electronics and subtle dreamy blips and beats that make it seem like one is listening to Trance. Perhaps the most innovative thing the band does is throw in some violins on ‘Have A Blast’, a momentary madness but it helps the track stand out because none of the others do it. Other tracks like ‘Scarlet’ seem almost more Alt. Rock based with all clean vocals and no harsh moments, though the melodic amounts of guitars are still very technical.

‘Ragnarok’ is one of the few tracks that feature that hard buzzing guitar and bellowing vocals heard on the debut album, only to be broken up here and there by jarring bass and more technical solos with bits of clean interludes. ‘Epoch’ is a brief electronic driven instrumental that serves as a calming point, but by this track most fans will have either decided whether they like the direction PERIPHERY has gone in and continued to listen or shut off their music player by now. On the overall level, those who liked the unpredictable harsh nature of the debut work along with the remixes on ‘Icarus’ will find it all blended into one on ‘II’, and those who didn’t like it may find that extra use of the clean vocals a bit more mainstream, but not stale at all. It is only new and improved and will probably just keep getting better.


Tracklist

01. Muramasa - 2:51
02. Have a Blast - 5:55
03. Facepalm Mute - 4:54
04. Ji - 5:14
05. Scarlet - 4:08
06. Luck as a Constant - 6:04
07. Ragnarok - 6:35
08. The Gods Must Be Crazy! - 3:38
09. Make Total Destroy - 4:27
10. Erised - 6:13
11. Epoch - 2:10
12. Froggin' Bullfish - 5:05
13. Mile Zero - 5:31
14. Masamune - 6:09


Line-up

Spencer Sotelo – vocals
Misha Mansoor – guitars
Matt Halpern – drums
Jake Bowen – guitars
Mark Holcomb – guitars


Website

www.facebook.com/PeripheryBand


Cover Picture

periphery peripheryii


Rating

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10





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