As we all know, Metal fans love to disagree, the recent most heated discussion revolving around Periphery‘s new album – Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal. As guitarist Misha Mansoor said himself, his band gets a rather polarized response from people, and why do half of people dislike them? Well, as the forerunners of “Djent”, they single-handedly caused a huge wave of copycat bands to appear, many of those playing a very-watered down version of metal, making it easy for oldschool metalheads to bash the whole genre by comparing its popularity to deathcore and claiming it a trend soon to disappear.
Now, back in 2011, I myself wasn’t too impressed with Periphery’s EP – “Icarus”. It contained a lot of awesome riffs, but most of the tracks just didn’t feel like songs – if you checked out that release, you know what I mean.
However..all that changes with Periphery II.
This new album is just a wild, wild step forwards for the guys and will undoubtedly affect the whole Djent scene. I wouldn’t dub it “progressive metal” (though know-it-all Wikipedians have), as it has nothing to do with the likes of Dream Theater, but the band’s own style does progress here, in every sonic sense of the word. Structure, Melody, depth; These have all evolved exponentially. The group’s imitators made a dire mistake by relying entirely on the “off” time signatures style, and Periphery II catches them all totally off guard. The followers have just been outplayed and trampled by their heroes. Have a taste of the album below:
Like the rest of the band, vocalist Spencer Sotelo has also stepped up his game. Some dislike his voice but they cannot claim its whiny anymore. Following the intro track, he excels on “Have a Blast“, which like “Make Total Destroy“, has a real Sikth thing going on – and when that memorable chorus arrives, you just know this release is way different from “Icarus“.
The album is not perfect – with 14 tracks I’m positively sure that’s not possible. Some of the songs drag on for too long and feel similar in structure(too many instrumental C-parts), while the vocal lines sometimes feeling forced and unnatural. However, Periphery II compensates for its flaws by containing tons of amazing material that just grabs you – from the direct melodic approach of “Scarlet“, to the contrasting dissonance of “Luck as contant“, the beautiful chorus in “Erised”, and the incredible intro on 13 mile zero.
Periphery have just changed the rules of the game, and just for doing that they deserve a high rating. It’s not just about having the heaviest downtuned riff anymore, its about the return of quality song writing to math metal & Djent.