Editor's Rating

Have a listen to: "Absolomb", "The Way The News Goes" and "Lune"

9
Rating out of 10

Periphery – Periphery III: Select Difficulty

Release Date: 22nd July 2016
Sumerian Records
iTunes: 
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/periphery/id187683869

Six years ago, Periphery burst onto the metal scene with their blistering self-titled Periphery‘ and have since then changed what it means to be a member of the Djent scene. Their latest effort ‘Periphery III: Select Difficulty‘ shows that the band still have plenty to offer and they’re not done yet.

Straight away the album kicks right off with ‘The Price Is Wrong‘, which drops you into the signature blast that drummer Matt Halpern has come to call his own and you can immediately tell that this isn’t going to be a calm listen. The song is filled with Periphery’s groove and feel as Spencer Sotelo shows his prowess as both a vocalist and a lyricist with his true aggression creating an image of a violent world. Almost instantly the next song suddenly drops into the wonderfully named ‘Motormouth‘ with its deep riffing cutting straight to the point and keeping the heavy trend going, you can tell straight away that this is a song the guys have written to see crowds go completely insane to, with its powerful groove intercut with fast paced breakdowns and chaotic beats that just make you want to run, all with Sotelo’s dirty vocals leading into a beautiful melodic section where we finally hear the cleans we’ve come to know and love.

 In a rapid change of pace, there is a sudden sound of strings; as we’re brought into the beginning of ‘Marigold‘, a song that carries a sense of class with it and we hear the dark melodic stylings of Periphery and a chorus that I’m still struggling to get out of my head as you hear Spencer sing “Death is coming ‘round like a hurricane” and you find yourself moving with the swirling sounds all around you. This song stands out on the album, it’s deep and complex stylings with a musical setup that shows Periphery truly are masters of the art. It’s once you hear ‘The Way the News Goes…‘ and you hear Misha Mansoor’s trademark clean melodies leading what is clearly going to be an epic show of Periphery’s talent, as the song progresses the guitar leads us through an epic tale of depression and loneliness yet with this uplifting feel to the whole thing, almost as if it is saying things will eventually get better. As the songs trails off with a calming piano melody, you can’t help but wonder what is in store next as you move on.

And so we step into ‘Remain Indoors‘, this is the dong that seems the most standard Djent-meets-clean on the whole album, with its off beat guitar leading a down tempo into a blast section with dirty vocals before hitting the melodic chorus and Spencer unleashes his vocal power. The part that stands out the most is hearing the powerful guitar solo that brings forwards feelings of evil, something that completely parallels our previous track. It’s once we reach ‘Habitual Line-Stepper‘ that we realise how much Periphery has evolved, this song is a chaotic showcase of talent, with complex rhythms, powerful vocals and an ever-changing guitar line that can’t seem to settle. The song truly earns its movement-inducing name as it closes out on a dirty groove that just makes you want to get up and step along with the band.

Flatline‘, probably the most brutal track on the album, comes in straight away with Sotelo and his booming deep growls let you know to strap in for one hell of a ride. It’s not until about half way through this song that you realise you’re listening to something new, new ideas begin to come in with an interesting break that suddenly appears as Periphery show off their harmonic skills whilst the guitar builds up into an explosive finale that really makes this track stand out on the album. Booming. That’s the only word to describe the absolutely crazy bassline of ‘Absolomb that leads us into a dark corner of the album with a sense of evil melodies that carry us throughout the song, always calling back to that booming bassline that we’ve come to know and love. All climaxing in the powerful and emotional strings sections that have been dotted around the album, fading perfectly into the next track.

Catch Fire‘ begins, a strange and twangy melody that feels almost space-like begins and the sudden power of Spencer shouting out “It sure is something when we all catch fire” makes you feel like it sure is, this song is his and he is bringing us along with him for the ride; from start to finish this song is a masterpiece, a true show of the talent Periphery brings to the genre and how well they can continue to innovate without becoming stale. In comes ‘Prayer Position‘, a much darker tone to the last track with a powerful lead guitar backed by Halpern’s skilful drumming as we return to more standard Periphery track, nothing new is really on offer here for constant listeners, but first timers will enjoy what they hear.

And so we reach the end track, the complex epic ‘Lune‘; from the get go you can feel that this song is going to build up to make sure the album ends on a bang, with a reverb heavy riff building as the other instruments come in to set the pace. It’s a song that feels like the end, it feels like the perfect way to ease out of an album that introduced itself on the heaviest note it could, as powerful melodies lead the charge and Spencer screams out “don’t let go” with the most powerful voice he can manage and the feeling that you have made it through this huge-scale album takes over.

Truly, Periphery close on the most epic scale they could manage and leave me ready to see what they’re going to come up with next.

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