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Periphery III: Select Difficulty
By Scott Turney
Periphery are a six piece metal band currently signed to Sumerian Records. It was only 18 short months ago that Periphery released Juggernaut Alpha and Omega and now they are back with Periphery III: Select Difficulty. Usually any normal band would take two or more years to release an album, but in 18 months Periphery have released not one, not two but three albums in that timespan. Periphery III or (P3 for short) is also the continuation of Periphery I, and II released in 2010 and 2012 respectfully. Over those years the band have greatly matured. Yes, they still the djent and ambient sounds they are known for, but in P3 they have added more layers to their ever growing repertoire.
The first song ‘The Price is Wrong’ kicks things off with a bang, more like a nuclear bomb. It is a stark change from the ambient slow starting songs that they have done on previous albums. “The Price is Wrong” is very in your face from the music to the lyrics, as lead vocalist Spencer Sotelo screams “Beauty, disgusting, blood. Fatal wounds of the last emotion. Beauty, disgusting, blood. All will pay the price!” The song is pure aggression with its thundering vocals and guitar solo by Mark Holcomb. It makes one hell of a fierce statement. The next song “Motormouth” is no different with its heavy djent-esk feel which is reminiscent of past songs.
The third song off of Periphery III: Select Difficulty is “Merigold” and it begins with some beautiful orchestration that guitarist and founding member Misha Mansoor created. It shows how much Periphery have evolved and matured, always bringing something new and refreshing to the table. What makes the orchestration better is how the song seamlessly opens up to guitar riffs and Sotelo’s vocals. Also included in the over seven minute song are a choir singing in the background singing “Death is coming ’round like a hurricane swirling. We’re on the clock and the needle’s turning.” At the end of the song, Periphery has a two-minute long ambient sounding section that they have done on previous records most notably on ‘Periphery II’. It is a great way to tie in to past records yet, do it in a new way. The forth song on the record “The Way The News Goes…” slows the album down just a bit, but in no way is that a bad thing. Every album needs a song that allows it to breathe. Even though the song is slower in nature drummer Matt Halpern finds a way to incorporate a blast beats into the song which works beautifully.
Moving down the album the seventh song “Flatline” is one of the more diverse songs off of P3. It brings the heavy, the soft and everything in between. Spencer Sotelo’s vocal range is really shown on this song. The listener will no doubt be singing along while listening to this song. The very next song “Absolomb” was originally an instrumental track Misha Mansoor created years ago, and now its back with a vengeance on P3. With vocals added, more orchestration near the end of the song, and a solo by Mansoor itself, the song feels complete, and is one of the better songs off of the album. The very next song “Catch Fire” is the shortest song on the record just under four minutes long. The song is catchy to say the least from the bass in the background to the overall tone of the song. “Catch Fire” is different from other tracks on the record, but it fits in the album perfectly. Spencer Sotelo’s clean singing is shown to the fullest on this song, as anyone who will hear this song will most likely sing along to it.
The last track off of Periphery III is “Lune” and it marks a first for the band, as it is their first true slow paced love song. At over seven minutes long the song takes the listener to another world. Just close your eyes and you will feel the emotions overflowing within you. The song begins with a minute long intro followed by Spencer Sotelo’s clean vocals taking center stage. “You found me in the cold. Now I am wrapped within the warmth of your touch. There’s never a moment I let slip by in your eyes. Are we growing old and am I melting in the rays of this love? Never ever gonna let you go. Don’t Let go!” The song truly shows the maturity of the band. It is quite possibly one of the best last songs of any album to date. “Lune” marks an epic ending to an even more epic album.
Overall Periphery III: Select Difficulty is a great mix of technical, melodic, and heavy parts. Periphery have grown throughout every album and EP that they have put out. Every member of the band put their best work to date into this album. At over an hour long, this album will keep listeners interested for a long time. Even after creating this album in such a short amount of time, this album has the feel that it took years to create. In a sense it has, P3 borrows things from each previous album and even demos that were recorded before any Periphery releases. This album without any question deserves 5 out of 5 stars for this amazing masterpiece of an album. All that is left is to ask what is next for Periphery? Perhaps another 11 track album in 9 months instead of 18? All kidding aside, the next Periphery release will no doubt bring forth more maturity, orchestration and of course face melting riffs and solos that fans will enjoy.
POP DEFLATORS RECOMMENDS: “Merigold”