Periphery - Periphery
Sumerian Records
Pop Tech Metal
12 songs (72:52)
Release year: 2010
Sumerian Records
Reviewed by Crash

Let me first say that Periphery made a wise decision in ditching their first name. Between the Buried and Meshuggah, while rolling off of the tongue did not provide the oh so extra subtlety of their influences. It’s better this way, because now you actually have to listen to them before saying, “This just sounds like Between the Buried and Me and Meshuggah.”

I could end the review right there. Honestly, it’s that simple. Do you like Meshuggah, but all of that “no melody” stuff puts a frown on your face? Do you like Between the Buried and Me, but think to yourself, “What would happen if BTBAM wasn’t boring?” You’d have something like Periphery.

Friends have been trying to get me into this band for a couple of months now, but disregarded them at first listen. My first thought was of course the Meshuggah and BTBAM comparison, but it actually reminded me of a more obscure band, being Sikth, that awesome little band that unfortunately broke up a few years ago. I thought that they blended the Meshuggah sound (which all of the kiddies are calling “Djent” or something…) yet mixed in clean vocals and made it work. Periphery takes the same idea but adds more pop to the mix.

Before I form too much of a negative opinion, I must say. The actual music is pretty damn good. Great guitar playing and crystal clear production give this a heavy feel, but welcoming and warm without sounding too mechanical. Apparently, when asked why they have three guitar players they responded with, “Because four was too many.” Well, I wouldn't be able to tell if they had three guitar players unless you told me, which either means that they are doing a good job or it means that it is unnecessary… whatever works I guess.

The big “controversy” with the band is their new vocalist Spencer Sotelo. To be frank, he is of the more hardcore/emo/metalcore/nu etc. etc. etc. style. In other words, his style is every single word that metalheads hate.

I personally think that he is great and that he sucks at the same time.

I think that his clean vocals are great. It isn’t my favorite style, being that near emo stuff. But you know what? I think it actually works. It reminds me of clean moments like in Sikth’s Bland Street Bloom and also reminds me The Dear Hunter, an amazing prog band that has this same style of clean vocals. It’s definitely not for everyone and it will probably age the album down the line because it’s such a “now” thing. But his voice soars.

Here is where he sucks. Those god damned growls. I can do emo singing one hundred times over hardcore screaming. This is my same problem with Between the Buried and Me, because the best parts are when they break it down and quit the boring math metal. The same is here. The only times that this album sounds absolutely awful is whenever they try and “metal” it up. I am sure that hardcore kids will eat it up because he does the style well. The problem is that the style itself blows. I am biased. Give me a dozen emo singers who still hit the right notes before these weak ass attempts at gutturals.

I am torn. Listening to this I really want to get into it and every once in a while I do. Despite the negativity, I enjoy it for being combining two sounds that I would never have thought to combine: Pop and technical metal. Dillinger kinda did it with songs like Black Bubblegum and Devin Townsend’s Addicted album was damn close, but it’s never been taken this far in a mainstream direction.

I kinda dig it.

But that being said, if they ditched the screaming nothing would be lost. The music would flow better and I think that more people would be able to take it for what it is without having to cringe every time shudder those damned growls show up.

So what can I say? I myself don’t know if I really, really like this or if I don’t. I guess that it really involves which songs you listen to which ones you ignore. Funnily enough, they also released an instrumental version of the album which many people prefer… I wonder how confident in their singer the band actually is. The album would probably be better in many parts without the singing, but then those moments when the vocals click would be lost. Either way you look at it, the band loses just as much as they gain.

Hmm… I just realized that I haven’t mentioned any actual songs yet… in fact I think that I have used examples by other bands instead to describe them. That must tell you something.

Well, here ya go. The main single of the album is Icarus Lives. It’s really fuggin lame.

The best song on the album is Insomnia. It’s really fuggin rad. Light has a great chorus as well.

Best idea ever: Hire Sikth’s old screamer and keep this guy just for singing. I think I just crapped in my pants.

Killing Songs :
Insomnia, Light, and most parts with clean singing.
Crash quoted 71 / 100
Other albums by Periphery that we have reviewed:
Periphery - Periphery IV: HAIL STAN reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Periphery - Juggernaut Alpha and Omega reviewed by Joel and quoted 86 / 100
Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal reviewed by Leah and quoted 70 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 5 replies to this review. Last one on Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:02 pm
View and Post comments