Periphery - Periphery II: This Time it's Personal
16-Jun-2012 Label: Roadrunner/Warner
Produced by Misha Mansoor, Adam Getgood & Taylor Larson
Playing time: 69.00
Reviewed by Sam Radojcin
While many consider Meshuggah to be the godfathers of the genre, there is little arguing that Periphery have become the forerunners of djent worldwide. With that momentum they unleash their highly anticipated sophomore release, Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal.
After the massive success of their debut album, it would not be hard to blame Periphery if they took the sound of that and just kept running with it. But being the open-minded and diverse musicians that they are, they have gone outside the box in tracks like "Have a Blast", a melodic bombast with jazz fusion flowing through its veins and guitar virtuoso Guthrie Govan supplying a solo that could be best described as “blues on steroids”. "Facepalm Mute" has a Nevermore feel with a pumping and pulsating groove and "Ragnarok" starts off sounding like the usual fare, but changes and utilises some ambient electronica that ends up like it is travelling into some distant galaxy.
A few tracks slightly crossover into commercial territories such as "Scarlet", a song that could be likened to a heavier Paramore with a constant pop feel. The Karnivool/Butterfly Effect-like "Erised" is a definite single candidate but retains some credibility with John Petrucci laying down one of his signature guitar solos. The insanely catchy "Mile Zero" has a delicate use of dynamic, textures and an overall beautifully melodic feel with Wes Hauch from The Faceless adding his fleeting fingers on a solo that compliments the track quite nicely.
Of course, there is definitely plenty of their crushing djent-inspired moments. The perfectly titled "The Gods Must be Crazy!" i is just insane, with lots of chopping and changing going on, the constant crushing force of "Make Total Destroy" carries on the spirit of their first album and the technical showcase that is "Luck as a Constant" hosts an epic guitar solo from mainman Bulb that will make you sit back in awe.
From a musical standpoint, Periphery know how to play. But if there is an MVP for the album, it would have to be singer Spencer Sotelo. Previously regarded as the weakest part of the band by most, he has stepped up his game with sparkly sweet clean vocals and brutal growled screams all delivered like a consummate professional. All of his vocal takes were supposedly performed without any the aid of any studio trickery, so it is quite impressive and he has solidified his place as a talented vocalist.
Overall, Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal shows how far Periphery have come since their debut release and proving that they aren’t a flash in the pan, but an established band that is able to compose and perform a varied and well lauded style of progressive metal that doesn’t fail to impress. If you aren’t the biggest djent fan and are a bit open minded, you should give this album a try, it could posess the ability to turn you from a naysayer into a fan with little trouble.
2. Have a Blast
3. Facepalm Mute
6. Luck as a Constant
8. The Gods Must be Crazy!
9. Make Total Destroy
12. Froggin' Bullfish
13. Mile Zero
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