Review: Juggernaut: Alpha & Juggernaut: Omega by Periphery

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Sup, losers? I have gathered you here because I would like to review the new releases of one my favourite bands in metal and in general: Periphery. I’m sure that Periphery is a band that needs no introduction. Whether you are a fan like me, or despise them so much that you spam metal forums with ignorant, barely comprehensible homophobic slurs about Sotelo’s pop-inspired vocals, their impact on the modern metal scene is undeniable. Since 2005 (ten fucking years ago now!), Periphery has been putting a much needed fresh, modern, and audibly sexy spin to prog rock. A genre that although I love, has started to get a “creepy uncle who totally smoked a joint with Geddy Lee in ‘84 and makes your step-sister really uncomfortable” vibe to it.

Personally, I am fan of Periphery because of their technicality, OCD level of perfectionism to production, and god-tier talent with their instruments. Yet for how technical and proficient with their instruments that they are, they still write songs that are catchy and actually sound like songs; rather than writing guitar masturbation tunes that sound like some 35 year old dude with a 9-string guitar and a ponytail making a Youtube video of his “sick sweeps” (looking at you here, Necrophagist). I feel that the band’s songwriting ability really shone through in their 2014 release, Clear; in which each band member was given complete creative control of their own tracks. Guitarist Jake Bowen referred to this EP as “an experiment to explore all of the different writing styles in the band.” Like all bands, Periphery has a “signature sound”, but they are constantly evolving, experimenting, and trying new things. No two Periphery releases sound exactly the same, Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega are no exceptions.

I referred to Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega from Sumerian Records and the Periphery boys as “releases” because they are being released as two separate albums; both of which are coming out on January 27th. This is a bold strategy, but hey, if it can work for fellow prog metaller Heavy Devy, I believe that it can work for Periphery [Editor’s Note: This strategy also paid off for another wildly divisive band back in the day]. I refuse to believe that a prog metal band would release two albums on the same day without Easter Eggs. Whether it be from listening to two songs from the two albums simultaneously, listening to a song backwards, or in some mathematical algorithm, I know that some obsessive nerd somewhere will find some mind-blowing message or sequence. This is a metal blog so there are surely some obsessive nerds here, and I know Easter Eggs will be found. Happy hunting, folks!

Because Periphery are releasing these two Juggernaut albums separately, I will be reviewing the Alpha and the Omega separately. The band’s intention is for the these albums to be listened to consecutively, and my intention is for my reviews to be read the same way. It doesn’t take rocket appliances to figure it out, people. I’ll give an overview of highlights and lowlights of each album. What made me laugh. What made me cry. What made me want to die. So tune your favorite 7-string Jackson, throw on the deepest V-neck you got to let the hamburger meat breathe, crack open your Rolling Rock (or, whatever you’re drinking), and let’s review some fucking Periphery!

Please note: During the course of my review, I am going to avoid using the word “Djent”. Metal is hyper categorized as it is, and I think defining an artist with a onomatopoeia of their instruments instead of concentrating on the art is pedantic and somewhat petty. It’d be like calling Technical Death Metal “Weedly Weedly Weedly Weedly DUN DUN DUN, DUNDUN DUNNNNNN!” It’s silly.

Juggernaut: Alpha

Juggernaut: Alpha is not just an album containing prog metal songs; it is a true progressive metal album. The opening track, “A Black Minute” kicks the album off with an atmospheric (God, I hate that reviewers buzzword, but it fits!) rhythm that lingers in the soul like rich pipe tobacco on a brisk autumn morning. Sotelo’s vocal harmonies mold the song into a thick, stoic piece of music. From there, the album builds in a way that excites and inspires. To use an old cliché, this album is a rollercoaster ride. “MK Ultra”, is a frantic, chaotic piece that utilizes sweeps in way that sound like they naturally belong, rather than tacked on flourishes to show off that they’re “rly good musicians”. The end of the track also has a little jazzy interlude, it makes me feel like I’m on an elevator on my way to the rest of this album.

The highlights of this album are “Heavy Heart”, “Alpha” and “22 Faces”. What made “Heavy Heart” really stand out to me was the Iron Maiden-esque guitarmonies, the vocal harmonies that could compete with those found in Top 40 pop (if this comes off as a backhanded compliment, let me assure you, it’s not. Writing vocal melodies that captivate the globe is a LOT fucking easier said than done). A strong rhythm section drives the vocal melodies in the chorus to create a heavy hook that you could sing along to. The titular track, “Alpha” starts with an electronic version of the main riff. The defining riff chugs along with a bounciness to it that makes it one of the few of metal songs that a person could dance to. Unlike a Tim Burton movie, this track has excellent pacing. Everything about this track feels like it was written sincerely, not just for the sake of being as heavy as possible or fitting a certain niche; which is something too many modern metal bands fall prey to.

The seventh track, “22 Faces”, was my personal favorite highlight of this album. This prog banger, which was featured on The Rolling Stone, is the perfect example of what I mean when I say that Periphery is one of the best bands in terms of  songwriting in the game right now. The song has a larger-than-life aura to it and it gets me fucking stoked! At long last: the fist-pumping, beer-can-shotgunning, fingerblasting-in-the-moshpit excitement of stadium rock meets the frantic, neurotic, yet completely calculated nature of technical death metal to form four minutes of a headbanging haven.

In conclusion, Juggernaut: Alpha will give Periphery fans a really good reason to be excited for the 27th. I don’t think it will be an album that will completely 180 non-fans minds about Periphery and their sound, but it is a “juggernaut” album that will definitely grab the attention of the metalsphere and beyond. The songwriting is god-tier, the production is better than ever, and it’s a demonstration of the evolution of Periphery’s sound; both commercially and artistically.

I give Juggernaut: Alpha ONE FLUSH – but only as a courtesy flush to remove the stench of the haters.


Juggernaut: Omega

Listening to two Periphery albums right after each other is a lot like masturbating twice in a row. It’s awesome, but about 15 minutes in you start to wonder what you’re getting yourself into and if it’s time to get a fucking girlfriend already. There’s really not much I can say about Juggernaut: Omega  that I haven’t already said about Juggernaut: Alpha. What I can say is Omega does have a slower, more melodic vibe than its sister album. Omega is three tracks shorter than Alpha, but thanks to the 7 minute plus length of some songs in true prog fashion, I would say the run time of both albums clocks in at about the same.

I am probably going to get crucified for this, but Omega reminds me of a modernized Iron Maiden album. The triple guitar ensemble of Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen, and Mark Holcomb plays no small part in this comparison. Guitarmonies showcased in tracks such as “Priestess” are reminiscent those found on A Matter Of Life And Death (that album ruled, fuck the haters). The rhythm section of Matt Halpern and Adam Getgood carry these melodies subtly but powerfully.

Omega also utilizes Sotelo’s death metal bark more liberally in contrast to Alpha; the vocals in the latter ranged more in the hard rock and pop ballparks. Tracks like “The Bad Thing”, “Hell Below”, and “Graveless” (this track brings the mosh!) have a technical death metal crunch that soulfully adds a sense of balance to the melodic mood of the rest of the album. The riffs are heavy, choppy, and kick some serious ass! My only beef is that at times the heaviness of the album can be guilty of “riff salad”. The riffs, albeit their ass-kicking properties, are nothing that you haven’t heard before. However, this album stays interesting through EDM and jazz inspired interludes, heavy pop hooks, and stellar pacing. Because the album does not rely on riffs alone, the riffs that are contained in this album have room to breathe. They never feel forced or tired, but flow effortlessly like the sweet Holy waters of the Nile, as natural parts of the songs.

I prefer Alpha over Omega, but if you’re a Periphery fanboy why the fuck would just listen to just one of the two? The prog genre is infamous for releasing more content than Activision DLC; sometimes there’s just too much material for a single album. With Alpha and Omega, Periphery is releasing 17 tracks. They could fit it all on a single album, but I feel that somehow the fans will be get more by splitting the releases in two. Human psychology is funny like that. The people who buy physical copies of the albums will actually be getting more in the form of more artwork and extra physical manifestations of the music that makes them happy. Both of which are important to music fans; as they should be.

I give Juggernaut: Omega one HALF FLUSH. The riff salad in this album can get tiring at times, and I want to conserve water.


Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega come out on January 27th via Sumerian Records. Will you buy one? Buy both? Buy neither? Discuss these new albums, Misha’s fashion choices, the inevitable Periphery fanboying/hate that will take place, and more in the comments!

Periphery PicImage (VIA)

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  • I’m making my final attempt at getting used to his damn vocals currently. Making better progress than last time but they still irk the fuck out of me at points.

    • Yep. I’ve said it before, but the vocals either sound good to you or they don’t. I’m in the latter camp still.

      • Lacertilian

        The yodeling is also my gripe.
        Sucks because they have some cool riffs I would like to hear.

    • MoshOff

      I just wish everybody would stop using autotune as a crutch, that’s my main problem with many clean vocals/vocalists.

      • Guacamole Jim

        Interestingly enough, Spencer Sotelo has become pretty adamant about not using autotune in the studio.

  • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

    Until Icarus EP, Periphery did not write songs that sounded like songs. After Icarus EP they have not shown the same level of technicality. I do not like this vand. At all. I did enjoy this review. At all.

    • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

      I meant not Icarus. I meant Clear

    • Gurptitude
      • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

        Will listen later on.

    • EsusMoose

      I would also point out due to Clear’s nature of being written by 6 people, the degrees of technical skill varied heavily with Misha and British guy having heavy technical leanings while Spencer’s and Drum guy were more groove oriented

      • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

        Yes… I briefly thought of that. But didn’t see much change in the ones I heard streamung from Juggernaut.

    • The only song I like of them. Their first LP is tagged as O.K….. in my #LinkNotebook (forgot to paste the link.. fail) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GfIoi9eG0A

  • Gurptitude

    Real talk: I love this song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGYCDZvEBvY

    • lol the intro sounds like Nintendo, not necessarily a bad thing.

      • Spear

        Almost always a good thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSP7vEva8Ho

        • Hey Spear, you dig Conquering Dystopia??

          GL

          • Spear

            Most definitely. One of my favorite riffers with one of my favorite shredders? How could I not?

          • Did you get to see them tour last year? I was lucky enough to be able to go – it was the tits!!

            GL

          • Spear

            Didn’t get to unfortunately. I think I heard something about them doing another run sometime in the near future, though.

          • Hopefully it is another “mid size” club tour. I was able to meet all the guys afterwards and not have anyone pushing to meet them. Of course Animals as Leaders was playing at that moment… I couldn’t believe how tight they were live. It. Was. Perfect.

            GL

          • Spear

            =0 holy balls, that’s awesome. I think I would die meeting Jeff Loomis in person.

          • The ability to form coherent sentences goes right out the door!

            GL

          • If you guys dig conquering dystopia check out essence of datum: https://essenceofdatum.bandcamp.com/

            and ophidius:https://ophidius.bandcamp.com/

          • I am pretty inundated right now listening to RT’s band. Will get to this soon

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9Vhu4Ep3ik

            GL

      • Gurptitude
        • I REALLY love this shit.

          • With these tunes all I need is a hover board and I can take on anyone.

            GL

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I love this fucking song. It sounds like something that would be in a 90’s racing game or platformer.

          • Gurptitude

            Stuff like that is why I still visit MS.

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

          I’m going to give this a listen.

          • Gurptitude

            I recommend it. (so does Papa Joe!)

  • EsusMoose

    I preferred Omega when I streamed them because I felt the album felt more true to the concept idea, there was also the repeated themes from Alpha and I’m a sucker for repeated parts. This was why the Ocean’s Pelegial is such a outstanding album

    • Guacamole Jim

      Pelegial is one of my favourite albums, ever. I devoured that jam.

      • EsusMoose

        It’s an album I shall regret not buying a physical copy of, both the vocal and sans vocal versions. I may look into finding one though I’d have preferred owning a vinyl copy

    • Gurptitude

      Didn’t The Ocean put out a stinker in between Precambrian and Pelagial?

      • Guacamole Jim

        Heliocentric/Anthropocentric?? I loved those albums!

        • Gurptitude

          I dunno, I heard someone say those were less than great somewhere, can’t remember where. I do remember listening to one of the two while I was going through a crisis of faith/depression and getting really soured on it. I’ll have to give it another go later.

          • DDubya.

            I don’t like them as much as Precambrian, but I don’t think they’re bad.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Yeah, they’re not exactly pick-me-ups, especially if you’re struggling with faith hahaha. They’re the first to The Ocean albums I ever heard (bought them on a whim), so they hold that kind of a special place in my heart.

          • Gurptitude

            I got into them when Precambrian dropped. I thought it was so cool that a band would theme their music around that sort of primordial ooze and prehistory, then I read their lyrics and said HEY THIS ISN’T ABOUT SCIENCE-Y SHIT WTF

          • Guacamole Jim

            hahahaha yeah, even Pelagial wasn’t about the ocean, lyrically. Those crafty bastards.

          • Gurptitude

            Wut? I am so betrayed right now. Who the hell sings about the ocean, then, if not The Ocean?

          • Guacamole Jim

            I KNOW RIGHT? It’s about an old-school science fiction film, apparently.

      • EsusMoose

        As I discovered the Ocean with Pelegial everything before it kinda sounds like imperfect variations of it. Which is incorrect as those steps were necessary for it to be achieved. And yes Helio and Anthropocentric there were two

        • Pelagial was the first one I heard from them and due to that the first two don’t really do much for me.

          • DDubya.

            They have more than three albums. Precambrian ruled, and, in my opinion, is their true opus.

          • The only others I’ve heard are Heliocentric and Anthropocentric

          • DDubya.

            Check out Precambrian, dude. Statherian is one of my favorite instrumental tracks ever.

          • Lacertilian

            I stumbled across it because I’m a sucker for interesting scientific concepts in metal.
            Not the ones offered by gore bands with body parts & medical terms though.

  • Scrimm

    I had managed to never hear this band until just now. Wish I could go back in time and just read the article instead and just skip the whole pressing play thing.

  • DDubya.

    I can’t believe someone else refers to chest hair as hamburger meat. Although I actually call mine “the sweater vest” cuz I’m 2hairy4you.

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    The song “omega” is the beez neez, if you are going to listen to one before you post about how terrible they are, listen to that one.

  • Howard Dean

    To me, Periphery is like Stacy: a psycho hose beast
    https://31.media.tumblr.com/cb1653fe17868c5ab94ff433501c85ab/tumblr_moac51xoUp1rcy99do1_500.gif

    But in all honesty, great review, Paris. I’m not a fan of Periphery, but you did a great job reviewing a mammoth double album.

    I wanted to address this one quote: “…the vocal harmonies that could compete with those found in Top 40 pop (if this comes off as a backhanded compliment, let me assure you, it’s not. Writing vocal melodies that captivate the globe is a LOT fucking easier said than done).”

    I TOTALLY agree with that statement. I don’t think making a legitimately catchy, hook-filled pop song is as easy as most trve kvltists believe it is. I think the angst/derision most people feel towards pop songs is directed at the “singer” his/herself (who likely didn’t write the song anyway), and not at the tune itself. I’m no musician, but it’s got to take some talent to compose a really catchy, melodic, vocally-driven song that captivates across age/gender/cultures.

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

      Periphery is “technical” garbage. There is much better music out there for the technical music lovers.

    • DDubya.

      Paris hit the nail on the head with that quote.

      • Howard Dean

        Indeed. And I’m not against pop-like music, either. I tend to get my fix for “pop-ish vocal melodies” from Devin Townsend. I just find his stuff a lot more interesting, entertaining, and fun. He’s an excellent songwriter.

        • DDubya.

          I agree with you. I suppose Nine Inch Nails would be my go-to for that purpose. Trent has been nailing songcraft for a long time now.

          • Gurptitude

            Which reminds me, I haven’t listened to anything other than The Downward Spiral in forever…

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            That’s my favorite album of theirs. It’s so goddamn heavy.

          • Gurptitude

            So Nineties

          • DDubya.

            With Teeth is a pretty regular spin for me. As is Broken. And Pretty Hate Machine. And The Fragile…

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

          When it comes to my pop vocal melodies I go with Nine Inch Nails, The Doobie Brothers or Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Those three bands have excellent songwriting and in the case of Nine Inch Nails a very consistent discography.

          • sweetooth0

            NIN rules.

    • The Satan Ov Hell

      Most people go “HURRRRR PACHEBEL’S CANON IN D CHORDS!”

      • The Satan Ov Hell

        I can’t play canon in D, but I can play every dark throne song. Take that kvltists!

        • elitists classical music (YES, CLASSICAL, FUCK THEM) fans of colleges and conservatories are the worse. I’ve encountered a lot that baffle and make bad jokes about the misuse of musical theory in some songs of local bands, and when you ask them if they do music they respond to you that ‘they won’t, because they’re very important to lose time in tiny gigs’..

          • The Satan Ov Hell

            They can be awful. Music is an art form, not an equation.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            Don’t tell Robert Fripp that. He’ll disagree with you. I do agree that music is an art though and music without any emotion usually doesn’t become popular or well liked.

          • The Satan Ov Hell

            He’d likely tell me “Power Electronics isn’t music”

            in which case I’d say “okay well I like it more than music”

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjAF7D4l91M

          • Satan knows it!!!

          • JamesGrimm

            Its both.

          • Gurptitude

            I thought classical music fans understood innately that people with sex lives aren’t interested in their bullshit.

    • that quote is awesome.. we can have one brutal quote from each text in toilet to make a book of brutal quotes!! <3

    • Paris Hilton

      The thing about pop artists is that they are usually paid to sing (which they are usually really really fucking good at!) and to look pretty. It’s the writers that are S-rank, world-class musicians. Trve cultivists think that pop is “talentless garbage”; but if that’s the case, they can try to write the next “Tik Tok”, which outsold every Beatles single. Go ahead, I’ll be right here waiting. Then tell me it’s talentless garbage.

      • Tyree
      • Challenge Accepted.

      • DDubya.

        Pop singers are performers. That’s why you’ll videos of them lip-syncing. They have to do extensive choreography while performing, and that often isn’t conducive to holding notes.

        • Paris Hilton

          Exactly! I wouldn’t crucify like say Lady Gaga for lip-syncing because singing in key perfectly and doing a professional dance routine that has been created by the best choreographers and practiced for literally months isn’t exactly a walk in the park.

          • Guacamole Jim

            I would.

          • Tyree

            Just stick to the music part of it then. Because, it’s music right? Not dancing.

          • Paris Hilton

            Music isn’t always just music. Take Rush for example, their shows are these huge, well, shows that captivate the mind! And I think dancing is like music’s sister. Definitely different, but will always be together.

          • Tyree

            Ok, but maybe focus on making the quality of your music. Why jeopardize the quality of your music live by fucking it up with shit that is going to cause the music to suffer. I don’t know, I just will never get it I guess. I’d rather watch some one with a good voice stand on a stage motionless rather than watch some one dance all around while not singing well or even at all.

          • DDubya.

            I think what you look for in a performance is different than what your standard pop fan is looking for. You (like all of us here) want art. Most people go to a pop concert for entertainment.

          • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

            I go to pop concerts for the XTREME MOSH PITS

          • … and HAWTMOMS, Goat.

            GL

          • Tyree

            Yeah. I mean I like some Pop stuff and it’s not all about that fancy dancy bullshit. I posted that that Lana Del Rey song, you don’t see her dancing around like a damn fool on stage. She is focused on singing well. Enough from me though, I have some Hornwood Fell to listen to.

          • DDubya.

            To be clear, I don’t think I would go to a pop performance if I had to pay for it. I’d rather listen to the artistic artists like Janelle Monae.

          • Tyree

            I would NEVER pay to see a pop concert.

          • JamesGrimm

            She just has rreeaallyy bad quotes…

          • Paris Hilton

            That’s a good point. Like W. said though, pop fans are more into entertainment than anything else. And it all comes to personal tastes, like even if it was the best band in the world I’d fall asleep if they were just standing there. Nothing is wrong with either opinion. Take MJ for example, ask anyone who grew up in the 80s, his dance moves were just as if not MORE iconic than his music!

          • its more entertainment than it is music in that case of a lot of pop acts.

          • DDubya.

            This is true. Although there are some embarrassing moments when singers definitely should have been singing.

            Also, someone asked me about backtracks at metal shows, and that raises an interesting question. Is it appropriate? I think we should explore it in a Think Tank.

          • Paris Hilton

            I personally am for backtracks! Like take these folk-inspired bands, for example, there’s no way in hell they can fit full symphonies in the venues they usually play at. Many of these bands write the symphonic parts themselves, as well. If it adds to the art, rather than relying on it, it can be a really good tool to add depth and atomosphere to a song that otherwise the band may not be able to achieve with instuments alone.

          • DDubya.

            I think you hit a good point about relying on versus adding to. I saw Impending Doom years ago, and all of the lead guitar parts were played through tape. Really rubbed me the wrong way.

          • Paris Hilton

            I saw ID and agree, they didn’t do it well. I think backtracks can be either a good tool or a nail in the coffin.

    • Renan Ribeiro

      It’s easier to write something like Von’s material than it its to write a catchy pop song IMO.

  • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

    The only weedly-deedlys I like are in prog and tech death. I hate the weedilies and deedilies as done by Periphery.

  • Tyree
  • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

    “Omega is three songs shorter than Omega”

    • Fuck. My fault.

      • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

        There there

    • EsusMoose

      It’s that magical

    • Nordling Rites ov Kahlua

      Also +1 for the inclusion of that cute little bugger, Djenty Cat

  • “writing guitar masturbation tunes that sound like some 35 year old dude with a 9-string guitar and a ponytail making a Youtube video of his “sick sweeps” (looking at you here, Necrophagist)” Rustling Jimmies sandstorm is coming, I can feel it in my rustlingjimmieslinkpatenteddetector jajajaja

  • The Bestest Tapir
    • Howard Dean

      For realz, Death/Anus/Tapir?!

      • The Bestest Tapir

        Unfortunately

        • Howard Dean

          Damn. Never would’ve guessed it.

          I listened to this track this morning. The odd, nasally, half-clean rhythmic talking vocals threw me off. I was expecting HHH’s usual dry, throaty scream that grates oh so unfortunately. And then those same weirdly mechanical, spazzy-with-no-direction guitars come in, with this same nasally spoken word stuff over the top. Ugh. This dude just can’t abide.

          • DDubya.

            I didn’t dig it either, HD.

          • Howard Dean

            I don’t know what it is. Every time I hear the guitars in a Liturgy song, they make me feel like I’m listening to a malfunctioning slot machine or cash register.

          • I choose to listen to it as an artsy pop tune. Christian and I were talking about it a bit. I get vibes of Hella or Black Dice from it. If nothing else, the drums on this do it for me.

          • Gurptitude

            But for pop music don’t you actually have to be able to, y’know, sing?

          • I guess I’m using pop music as a catchall term here for non-extreme music. But the vox don’t actually bother me. Odd, because the vox in Periphery are a total turn off.

          • Gurptitude

            “Different strokes” indeed.

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Tapir works in mysterious ways. I’m quite sure that it won’t get even close to my best of 2015 list.

          • Guacamole Jim

            I respect the Tapir’s choice of music in a way I respect few others. Everything you’ve recommended to me, I’ve enjoyed.

          • Tapir rulz too <3

          • isn’t it true that you’re bigger on newer, experimental stuff over older, blacker stuff (i.e. Manes)?

          • The Bestest Tapir

            En myönnä enkä tunnusta

          • #Tässä kohtaa mulla kuitenkin

          • The Bestest Tapir

            I feel like you didn’t say what you wanted to say. Google translator is not good, mate.

          • musta parta ei korvaa minulle

      • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

        The Deadly Anus Tapir.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          Hubert I like that you moved over to Satan’s team.

          • Tyree
          • Howard Dean

            Before I had ever heard of the band, I bought this album in a record store one day strictly on the awesome cheesy-ass album cover.

          • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

            Doom and Void are so overused. Satan though.. Satan is totes original.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            Hubert, Satan of Void’s Goat

      • Joe also doesn’t hate it. I’ve been avoiding listening to it in order to save myself from the cognitive dissonance and suicide that would certainly occur if I were to like it.

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

          This is called black metal? It sounds like indie pop. This band angers me.

          • The Bestest Tapir

            Their new album is going away from the “black metal” sound.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I do not like this song. I liked the new Mayhem album better than this and that album made me fall asleep.

          • DDubya.

            Wasn’t Mayhem on your top 10 last year?

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            It was but now I can’t sit through it after having heard it quite a few times. I stopped enjoying it after the 20th listen.

    • EsusMoose

      I liked it a lot but it isn’t at all like older liturgy releases I had heard (1 other).

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

      This was not a good song. I prefer Deafheaven.

      • Tyree

        http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=43072247

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

          I’m not the only lover of Deafheaven here. I do admit I would though.

      • The Bestest Tapir

        I’m gonna listen to the whole album before I make my mind.

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

          That isn’t a bad idea. Maybe I am making up my mind prematurely.

          • The Bestest Tapir

            I would enjoy this song more if it were an instrumental.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      Tapir I listened to this also, once. I found it to be quite unusual but I did not hate it either.

    • Gurptitude

      The “singing” ruins it for me.

  • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

    Great review Paris, I’m looking forward to this with all of my steadily djenting heart.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      I also think this was a great review. My knowledge of Periphery still stands at zero. Will check out, someday.

  • “Metal is hyper categorized as it is…”

    Damned straight. To me either it’s “heavy metal” or it’s not. I realize categorization is useful but it’s gotten ridiculous. I was commenting on the last Mastodon album and called it heavy metal and some hammerhead had to go “that’s not heavy metal, it’s ‘sludge’ metal.” …Shut. The. FUCK. Up.

    • JAG HAS SPOKEN.

      GL

    • some people really need to cut their hair off jajajajaja.. ‘sludge’…

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

      Amen to this. I couldn’t agree more.

      • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

        I COULD
        *agrees more*

    • The Bestest Tapir

      B-but I like categorizing.

      • everytime I encounter the word Manes I put the tag: “tapir merol”

        • The Bestest Tapir

          You dig Manes as well?

          • Mr. Detective shared me their last album, but I forgot it in the laptop of my house and I’m still without listening. I will check it when I can!

          • The Bestest Tapir

            It be a good album!

          • That’s what he said to me when he passed me the record. I readed a little bit of them and I really want to enjoy it. I always respect good avant-garde stylish sounds.

    • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

      I do agree with you, but not really. Metal is a really bloody wide genre of music. If you look at the community here you’ll see that everyone has a different vision of what metal is and what it represents. Having clear distinctive subgenres is a plus, for the sake of keeping things slightly more organized, and having some kind of border between the different styles of metal. I do think that a lot of metal fans are really fucking annoying when it comes to subgenres.

      • The only real metal is power metal.

        RT

      • The Satan Ov Hell

        HEY BRAH, CHECK OUT THIS POST AVANT JAZZCORE SONG

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE7t4qh4mPs

      • …and that’s why sub-categorization is useful. But Helloween doesn’t call themselves “power metal” they call themselves “heavy metal.” Terms like “power metal” are just latter-day descriptors people come up with to sort music so they can lump like-sounding bands together for playlists and shit. Saying Mastodon is *not* heavy metal but “sludge metal” is like saying hamburger is not meat…it’s “ground beef.” IOW stupid.

        • Hamburger is both meat and ground beef.

          • “Eat this, it’s meat.”

            “….”

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            Ground beef is meat. There is not both in a hamburger, it is one or the other. The same goes for metal.

          • Exactly. Mastodon is both heavy metal and sludge metal (I guess. Like I know WTF “sludge metal” is.)

          • DDubya.

            Sludge is a hybrid of hardcore punk and doom metal.

          • I’m not gonna lie: that sounds like a really shitty hybrid to me.

          • DDubya.

            Do you like Crowbar?

          • I neither like them nor loathe them. I’m just aware of their existence, I guess.

          • Howard Dean
          • Oh, I saw these guys with Pantera in the nineties. Thought they were pretty cool/weird but didn’t give any thought to what they were supposed to be genre-wise.

          • The Satan Ov Hell

            I’d actually describe some sludge as thrash/doom

            ALL RISE FOR THE SLUDGE KINGS

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scRjUhxWf20

          • Howard Dean

            One of my favorite bands ever. I prefer Paegan Terrorism Tactics, but both albums are legendary. Gone too soon.

          • The Satan Ov Hell

            And the reunion isn’t happening

          • Howard Dean

            Nope. That’s a band that isn’t just dead, It’s cremated.

          • The Satan Ov Hell

            They tried to come back, only to be crushed… that said, the solo works Dax went on to are great https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32SkMIkqGC0

          • Howard Dean

            Yeah, I really like Dax’s solo stuff. He’s just an all-around great vocalist and lyricist. Talented guy.

          • The Satan Ov Hell
          • jajajajaja I always thought that these things make Sludge Metal http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20061019213905/wowwiki/images/d/db/Sludge_Beast.jpg

          • The Satan Ov Hell

            I resubbed to WoW recently, talking about those sludgey things.

          • I think I killed something like that in Dark Souls today. That game has almost made me cry on more than one occasion.

          • sweetooth0

            Was Sludge Metal, now they just basically play progressive hard rock (admittedly good prog rock, but prog rock nontheless). And I suspect most readers seeing both of these terms will have a pretty good idea in their mind what they originally sounded like and what they now sound like. Genres can be useful if used tastefully.

          • I don’t know…when you call something “hard rock” or “rock” most people tend to take that as “nawt metuhl” …and current Mastodon very certainly is metal. Foo Fighters are a good example of a band who is “just hard rock (but not metal.”)

          • the best test to see if something is a song is merol or not merol is the Non-MetalheadGirlfriendDetector 😀

          • Oh god… no. Then literally everything is metal.

          • Paris Hilton

            Only T-Swift is metal! Everything else is for posers and libtards!

          • Jajajajajaja! Megan Trainor is the best bassist ever! dasasdasdasda

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I will downvote this for all time. I despise Meghan Trainor. Because of her I am not about that bass or that treble.

          • jajajajaja, smile, mr. Janitor 😉

          • Katy Perry slays posers with steeeeeeeeel!

          • sweetooth0

            Sure, Progressive Metal then. Some would argue Foo Fighters are pop rock, but I guess it can depend on your point of view and your general listening habits. Listening to tons of grindcore, death and black metal definitely makes current Mastodon sound like merely hard rock by comparison. At least in my eyes.

          • There’s nothing wrong with being wound up in a few extreme sub-genres, it’s all personal preference. …but that’s kinda what I mean: some people want to keep moving the goal posts, so to speak.

            I had a kid tell me that Capital-M Metal has to be at least as heavy as Slayer. Slayer and Death were considered extreme in the mid-eighties. …but then you kind of expect the sort of disrespect for and distortion of the historical definition of heavy metal from some latter day internet expert on metal. Especially those who uses terms like “dad rock” and “grandpa metal” to describe the bands who are the foundation of their music.

            Semi OT: you know what I think is really “cool?” When some of these Wiki Metal Scholars say that the music that’s too mainstream for them is “generic.” Generic (and lacking in any innovation) is a term I’d find more fitting of all the bands they love whom I can’t tell one singer from another. They all sound exactly the same: either growling from the chest or black metal shrieking. I never even liked BM until I heard Borknagar’s Empiricism. That’s because Vintersorg’s combination of BM-vox and cleans are immediately recognizable.

          • The Satan Ov Hell
          • sweetooth0

            It’s kinda like being velocitized. You know when you’re doing 120km/hr on the highway and you have to slow down to 60 when you hit a town. That 60km/h feels so incredibly slow. But if you pull out of your driveway and floor it to 60, it seems a lot faster.

            But yes I would agree that modern metal fans probably do not consider most of the formative bands to be “metal”, but at the time they were incredibly extreme compared to everything else out there.

            I do still consider the old guard metal, and I retract my statements about Mastodon as I would consider them metal, regardless of era.

          • I’m not trying to argue or make you feel bad. It’s just a topic I like to pop off about 🙂

          • sweetooth0

            Totally.

            I never feel bad about my opinions, but have been known to change them.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I dislike people calling such great bands as Rare Earth and Mountain “dad rock”. It angers me.

          • I think many of the people who derisively refer to older rock and metal as “dad rock” are just pissy because their dad’s never got them into cool music. My daughter and I go to all kinds of rock concerts together. We’ll see Agalloch and Crüe in the same month. She listens to some music that even I was too young for (Bowie, Alice Cooper, etc.)

            Heavy metal music has spanned enough generations now that it doesn’t just “belong” to young people anymore. You can go to a metal festival and literally see somebody in their late-sixties…and have a really cool conversation with them about how they saw Sabbath on their first North American tour.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

            I went to a show and I talked with someone who went to the Zeppelin perfomances at Knebworth in 79 because he was wearing a shirt from the festival.

          • And pink slime!

          • JWG
          • someone’s going to enjoy an article i have coming soon 😉

        • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

          That’s what I mean, the naming of subgenres is more of a tool than something to rely on constantly. Using your example, Mastodon would be a (heavy) metal band playing the subgenre of sludge metal. Both are correct, the latter is just more descriptive of the sound.

          • Howard Dean

            True. Imagine this scenario:

            Metalhead #1 likes the band SepticFlesh. He wants to find a band that sounds similar. In this hypothetical world, people only use “heavy metal” as a descriptor. He looks on the internet and seeks out similar artists. Everything is labeled “heavy metal.” He decides to pick artists with similar sounding names. By trying to find related bands this way, Metalhead #1 walks out of the melodic/symphonic death metal realm and straight into the world of brutal death metal, slam, goregrind, and pornogrind. He is frustrated beyond belief.

          • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

            And thus Symphonic Pornogrind was born.

          • *violent vomiting*

          • with the pinky up to make the symphonic part more sophisticate

        • Can’t get any worse than HIM calling themselves ‘love metal’, or Babymetal calling themselves ‘cute metal’. I like Babymetal, but that term makes me wanna throw up in my soup.

          • CT-12

            I hate that too, when bands try to label themselves a different genre ie. Opeth being “Forest” metal

          • They actually labeled themselves that?!?

          • CT-12

            Yeah, but only with the release of “Orchid”

          • Oh. Probably a joke I’m guessing, or hope.

          • Paris Hilton

            Wood Metal

        • JWG

          Having just finished tutoring a student in the fine art of UML Class Diagrams, I’m all about inheritance hierarchies and generalization/specialization relationships. At least for the next few hours.

      • Howard Dean

        Categorization is a product of organization, and organization is like a mental imperative to many humans. Organization, routine, and structure are what most humans instinctively pursue, even if they aren’t aware of it.

        I think the reason subgenre and “sub”-subgenre categorization is so prevalent in metal is because it is so useful: it’s tremendously helpful in finding like-sounding bands, and it certainly aids in recommending bands to others.

        • I use sub-genres to do that, but I try to make them more general because when you follow a band you’ll know their artistic vision, and not that specifically obnoxious as: depressive metal, dark metal, vegetarian metal, venezuelan metal, antartican metal, howard dean metal…

          • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

            Female-fronted metal. That one makes me flip tables. Nothing about the sound of the band can be determined purely by the gender of the front member.

          • that’s one of the most obnoxious! even more that describes the sound, like djent.

          • DDubya.

            Djent is actually a term coined by the musicians themselves, unlike most metal subgenres. Historically, publications and critics have developed subgenre names.

          • Yup, but it’s still obnoxious to my ear to determinate an entire genre just because they chug messhuggaly their guitars. So, if I use bark vocals and acoustic guitars in merol I play inflamescore?…

          • DDubya.

            I’m just saying the musicians who play it brought it on themselves.

          • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

            Not really though. Periphery never called themselves Djent, that’s just what their fans started calling them. Same goes for a lot of other bands.

          • DDubya.

            I’m pretty sure Misha is the one who coined the term, my friend.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Didn’t Fredrik Thorendal coin the term, but Misha popularized it?

          • DDubya.

            Ah yes, you’re correct.

          • DDubya.

            This is straight from the horse’s (Misha’s) mouth. “To get a djent tone on any guitar you have to buy a compressor, Overdrive or Tube Screamer, Distortion, and Shimmer Reverb pedals to allow you to get a djenty tone depending on your amp and guitar in general.”

          • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

            I’m pretty sure that Misha started using the term because everyone else was using it and stopped giving fucks.

          • DDubya.

            I don’t think that’s true as his online community is basically the birthplace of djent, but I love you too much to continue arguing. Skronkmaider skronkmaider skronkmaider

          • you must say it 4 times and it must be in all caps….

            SKRONKMAIDER SKRONKMAIDER SKRONKMAIDER SKRONKMAIDER!!

            <3

            GL

          • DDubya.

            Thanks for leading me back to the straight path, GL.

          • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!
          • And, you’re right about it, my friend.

          • NEVER CONCEDE THAT OTHERS ARE RIGHT ON THE INTERNET.

          • jajajaja: life lessons with JAG

          • If “inflamescore” becomes a thing – we are going to have a seriously falling out, Link.

            GL

          • TheJesterDancecore and Whoraclecore

        • DDubya.

          That’s simple systems theory. As a system grows, the complexity grows. As the complexity grows, the level of organization required grows.

      • I agree. I like categorizing metal as it helps me immediately if I’m even interested in the band. It gives me some kind of expectation to go in with. If someone came up and gave me an Emmure CD and said it was heavy metal, I’d probably go full Rambo.

    • I myself prefer slug metal https://slugdge.bandcamp.com/

    • Pagliacci is Kvlt/Not Sludge
    • Pagliacci is Kvlt/Not Sludge

      “A famous quote of mysterious provenance (most likely the American actor and singer Martin Mull) has it that, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” and anyone who has ever tried to write about music will know that language can be an inadequate tool.

      One of the most popular complaints about music critics is our annoying penchant for pigeonholing — our incorrigible urge to define. There are legitimate concerns behind this criticism, in that the very act of defining or classifying a work implicitly shuts it off from other material not in its approved category. The flow of neologisms from the keyboards of music critics can seem baffling and pretentious — post-this, proto-that, nu-whatever — but the root of this ever-changing meta-vocabulary is in the failure of language to adequately describe an ever-changing, largely intuitive art form.”

      Bonus- this is from an article about skronk: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2014/10/21/music/say-proto-say-post-lets-call-whole-thing-skronk/#.VMJOY_7F-Ps

  • MoshOff

    Good read, mangus. I just rediscovered this band, FFO Periphery and the like (I think they’re better):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I83Xp7itj8c

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan Svre Wovld

      I love TFN’s music videos. I could watch them for hours.

    • Gurptitude

      Minus the singing hooks.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    just like the post911 msm wannabetotalitarian msm–tries to use oprah winfrey—to manipulate–certain parts of the overall population—and cause social division —to manipulate–and cause needless destruction–and bitterness

    so periphery-engages in social weirdass “fake” art—that is more about introducing “political correctness”(hate based “necesary” paranoia/reasons for tyrannical behaviour)—engages in media psyop with the guy from that movie “the end”—to attack the crowd—and create staged “concert problems”

    the one time i listened to them –they seem like they mightve sounded ok though–but i only listened to them once–it seems like everyone else hates their music though

    fuck all current “pop” motherfuckers mostly

    • the Prophetzzzzzzzzz has spoken!

    • Paris Hilton

      Taylor Swift did 9/11

      • Taylor Swift is a 9 out of 11.

        GL

      • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        taylor swift is part of the media /propaganda consortium that did 911–though as an individual –she is a well meaning upper class woman–

        taylor swift did 911

  • Guacamole Jim

    “Prog rock will probably never be “cool,” but right now it’s about as close as it has ever been, thanks in no small part to Periphery.”

    LOL okay, ever heard of Dream Theater and a song called “Pull Me Under”??? Stupid Rolling Stone.

    Awesome review(s), Paris!! I am really digging what I’ve been hearing from these albums, though I’ll agree with you in that Alpha sounds better (from the limited amount I’ve heard) than Omega.

  • I think it was a very risky movement from Periphery to make a double-album. But your writing persuaded me to give that band another chance. Thanks, Paris.

    • Gurptitude

      I think they have a dedicated enough fanbase to make it feasible.

      • Ya never know. M83’s fanbase was pretty small until their double CD, then BAM!

        • Gurptitude

          Haven’t listened to them in forever…

          • ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’ was hands down my favorite release of 2012. Kinda weird how my friends back home, who are mostly into hip hop and hated 90% of my music, all got into it and bugged me for a copy.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            M83 been real high on my play lists lately

          • Gurptitude

            Finding music for friends who aren’t into your stuff is so hard the only way to do it right is by accident.

          • Yep!

        • Oblivion sound track m/

  • The Satan Ov Hell

    Oh also, I’m back by the way.

  • Paris Hilton

    Do you like Periphery?

    Their early work was a little too compressed for my tastes, but when Clear came out in ’14, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. They’ve been compared to Protest The Hero, but I think Periphery has a far more light, free spirited sense of humor.

    In ’15, Periphery released these, Juggernaut Alpha and Omega, their most accomplished albums. I think their undisputed masterpiece is “22 Faces”, a song so catchy, most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics. But they should! Because it’s not just about the tribulations of guilt, and the importance of purpose, it’s also a personal statement about the band itself!

    Hey Paul!

  • Their music is great, but they definitely need a new singer! He doesn’t sound pop-influenced, but sounds more like emo influenced. Reminds me way too much of the singer from My Chemical Romance or New Found Glory for my tastes, sorry. If they want to stick with that kinda style, though, at least get someone who sounds like the singer from Mew.

  • BLXKKBEXRD

    God-tier? Ffs.

    They’re good but not that good

    • The Satan Ov Hell
      • BLXKKBEXRD

        Pfft been there, got the hoodie, bruh

        • The Satan Ov Hell

          Been close enough to smell the sweat in those ski masks.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            Speaking of ski masks, the bassist from YAITW was wearing one last Sat. There was much blood and middle fingers

          • The Satan Ov Hell

            Haha, love shows like that from time to time

  • score one more for the Toilet! this review blows other reviews of said album out of the water. it doesn’t matter which other sites i speak of and it’s definitely not a competition; but MAN! great job, @disqus_BSuJ96uFg3:disqus

    • The Bestest Tapir

      But Misha’s disqus account doesn’t appear here.

  • Count_Breznak

    You could only deny their influence if they actually had any, unless of course you mean generating clicks. And using only ignorant, barely comprehensible homophobic slurs to describe the vocal performance is far too limiting.

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    I’m looking forward to listening to these, because I’m hoping this is the one where my mind finally clicks and I enjoy the vocals. They are definitely a band I should enjoy (I like Tesseract for instance), but it’s not happened yet.

  • Brouroboris

    Im listening to Melvins right now and i REALLY want to pause it to hear the new periphery but somehow i just cant find the motivation.