Periphery has been carving out their own niché in the world of progressive metal for some time now and as pioneers of the djent movement they have become firmly established as a creative force within the genre. While there is an expected penchant for poly rhythms and typically prog riffing there is also enough versatility to make `Select Difficulty’ a satisfying listen for the prog crowd whilst proving accessible to all.
This record is not short on the complexities that makes progressive metal such a challenging listen for the uninitiated; the opening salvo of ‘The Price is Wrong’ and ‘Motormouth’ is a double-barreled hit that makes for a dizzying introduction. They are two stylistically similar examples of the hectic attacking intensity inherent to their sound, with plenty of staccato riffing swirling around the powerfully delivered vocals of the versatile Spencer Sotelo.
However, such is the talent of Misha Mansoor and co. that they succeed in straddling the divide by delivering some truly epic moments; ‘Marigold’, for instance, with its orchestration and killer hook is a massive tune, while ‘The Way The News Goes…’ offers a big chorus and some good hard riffing offset by a delicate piano melody. ‘Remain Indoors’, meanwhile, captures pretty much everything they have with a slow groove and an emotional edge punctuated by bursts of machine gun riffing – cool track.
‘Absolomb’ is another notable high point as its chunky bass riff pulsates alongside moody guitars underpinning another heartfelt vocal; there’s a lot going on, but it compliments rather than clashes and some nice touches of orchestration add to the epic feel. Closing track ’Lune’ provides a similarly big finish and is another winner.
Although they do over indulge at times, there is plenty of good stuff to get your ears around, even if you aren’t a die-hard progressive metaller.
’Periphery III: Select Difficulty’ by Periphery is released on July 22nd on Sumerian Records.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)