PERIPHERY
Progressive Metal / Metalcore • United States

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Periphery is a mathcore/metalcore/progressive metal/experimental metal from Bethesda , Maryland, USA. Formed by Misha Mansoor, who is more popularly known as Bulb across the internet, Periphery was at first just Bulb himself. He posted music on Soundclick for everyone to hear and made himself known through various forum boards such as Sevenstring.org, the Meshugghah board, the John Petrucci Forums. He has since also expanded to metalguiarist.org, seymourduncan.com/forum board and the band also now have their own forum at SMNNews.com board.

Over time, Bulb managed to find members who were able to handle the rigors of his rather complex and technical material, with the current line up consisting of Spencer Sotelo on vocals, Tom Murphy on bass guitar, Alex Bois as a second guitarist, Jake Bowen as a third guitarist and Matt Halpern on drums.

The band finally released their debut album in 2010 in the US via Sumerian Records ( a label known for
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Periphery II: This Time It's PersonalPeriphery II: This Time It's Personal
SUMERIAN RECORDS 2012
Audio CD$6.96
$5.05 (used)
ClearClear
Sumerian 2014
Audio CD$4.43
$2.65 (used)
PeripheryPeriphery
Sumerian Records 2010
Audio CD$8.13
$6.39 (used)
Periphery 2Periphery 2
Sumerian Records 2012
Vinyl$19.34
$33.44 (used)
IcarusIcarus
Sumerian Records 2011
Audio CD$5.08
$3.99 (used)
PeripheryPeriphery
Import
Indie Europe/Zoom 2010
Audio CD$10.57
$8.38 (used)
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Audio CD$19.61
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Audio CD$130.96
$385.80 (used)
Periphery by Periphery [Music CD]Periphery by Periphery [Music CD]
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Audio CD$25.84
PERIPHERY II +bonusPERIPHERY II +bonus
Indies
Audio CD$35.87 (used)
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PERIPHERY Discography

PERIPHERY albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.25 | 16 ratings
Periphery
Metalcore 2010
.. Album Cover 3.36 | 10 ratings
Periphery II : This Time It's Personal
Progressive Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Juggernaut: Alpha
Progressive Metal 2015
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Juggernaut: Omega
Progressive Metal 2015

PERIPHERY EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.11 | 4 ratings
Periphery (Instrumental)
Metalcore 2010
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Icarus Lives! EP
Metalcore 2011
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
Clear
Progressive Metal 2014

PERIPHERY live albums

PERIPHERY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PERIPHERY boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Periphery
Metalcore 2012

PERIPHERY singles (0)

PERIPHERY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

PERIPHERY Reviews

PERIPHERY Clear

EP · 2014 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Clear is a 2014 EP by the American Progressive Metal band Periphery, released between their second and third full-length albums.

The twenty-nine minute EP features seven individual compositions, each creatively directed by a separate person, each of which contain themes presented within the opening track, ‘Overture.’

If you sit there and pick it apart you can appreciate all the nice progressive touches and experimentation, equally if you like you can just take it all at face value, as another set of top-quality Periphery songs. For only containing seven tracks, there’s quite a bit of variety to be found on Clear; there’s a piano driven intro, there are two instrumentals, some catchy-single sounding material, some heavy Djenty rhythms, some nice effects-laiden guitars and some electronic ambient stuff all in there. That being said, it isn’t a sloppy mish mash of different styles and it isn’t so experimental that it looses listenability, this is a very solid collection of great sounding tracks that all sound like Periphery.

Highlights include the catchy ‘Parade Of Ashes,’ as well as ‘Feed The Ground’ and the instrumental ‘Zero.’

Overall; Clear is a fine addition to any Periphery fan’s collection. I’d also recommend anyone who listens to Protest The Hero, Tesseract, The Safety Fire, Animals As Leaders, Monuments, Circles, Coheed & Cambria and Karnivool give it a shot too. This is a nice introduction to the band, covering sounds found from both their debut and sophomore albums, and with enough variety and personality to really sell what the band are about.

PERIPHERY Periphery II : This Time It's Personal

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Gallifrey
Hook, Line, No Sinker

I’ve noticed something I do when I’m listening to Periphery. It’s probably not something many of their other fans do, but from my impressions, Periphery’s fanbase aren’t the most intelligent or interesting bunch. When I listen to a Periphery song, especially from this album, I subconsciously filter the instrumentation, and focus entirely on Spencer’s vocal parts. It’s strange, because many, many people do the opposite, and so often Periphery have been asked to provide instrumental versions. But I just can’t afford to have this barrage of murderous noise affect my enjoyment of the great melodies that Spencer manages to come up with.

Lets be honest, Periphery have some of the worst and messiest instrumentals I have ever heard. It’s not just the farty ‘djent’ tone that they seem to still have an obsession with, it’s also the masses and masses of parts that don’t seem to blend with each other, it’s the strange need they have for putting riffs everywhere, where maybe there should be chords or textures, but they just chug everywhere and everywhen. There’s no doubt that these guys are incredibly talented. Some of them, I even have some respect for. Matt Halpern is undeniably an incredibly versatile drummer, he can play nearly every style of metal drumming with flair and technicality (although his kit tone is pretty terrible), and I also have respect for him as an entrepreneur and businessperson, with his music lesson business and drum clinics (although I wish they weren’t so expensive), and then there’s Nolly, their new British bassist, who is one of my favourite producers ever. He has produced some of my favourite underground rock records, like Natural Tendency and The Holographic Principle, but I just wish I could find some respect for him as a bassist.

I’m generally not a fan of this kind of music, as my opinions on Animals as Leaders and the like should prove, and it’s why I hate it being called ‘progressive metal’, because I never know if an album is the great progressive metal that I love, or this messy and unoriginal style of making me cringe. Yet, above all that, I still enjoy Periphery’s music, and as I mentioned before, it’s almost entirely down to their vocalist, Spencer Sotelo. Sure, they have a good riff every now and then, like the lead riff of “Scarlet”, or some of the stuff during “Ji” or “Luck As A Constant”, but it’s covered with that vomit tone and so much damn compression that I struggle to hear it. And even their atmospheres are bad, the pseudo-electronic tones they put in are just so dried up. But, I still enjoy them.

When you listen to the vocal parts over the instrumentals, you really have to gain some respect for what Spencer has to do. Listen to any of the parts, and imagine putting a vocal part over that. There are no chords, no melodies, not even many rhythms to base your part on, yet Spencer does it so flawlessly. And he does it, basically, by ignoring everything and just flying over the top. It doesn’t mix with the music well at all, and maybe that’s why so many people hate him, but at least his parts are good, unlike those guitar parts…

But seriously, pull the vocals from this album and I’d be struggling to give it a score above 3.5/10. The riffs are sloppy and without defined rhythm or key, and the solos are beyond awful. Shit, some of these solos are from skilled players, but they all sound so forced and out of place, like the band has gone “right, solo here and here and here” and then played some random string of notes. Take the track “Erised”, which is one of the quieter ones (therefore the best), but both solos here just sound so unnatural and forced, especially the first one, coming straight out of a rather nice verse. The solos don’t hold a melody or idea for their duration, they just play seemingly random notes in a random order. As much as I hate to praise someone like John Petrucci, at least his solo starts out well. Those first two or three arpeggios fit perfectly in with the music (although I’m not sure any of the last two minutes of “Erised” are necessary at all), but of course, being Petrucci, it dissolves into mindless wank within a few seconds.

But it’s thoroughly impressive how Spencer and his incredible knack for an excellent hook keeps this album afloat so long. I’ll be listening to a track, thinking “man, this one’s pretty bad, I’ll probably skip this next time”, but partway through, Spencer just hits a groove and sings something so absolutely scrumptious that I have to go back and replay it. Take a song like “Have A Blast”. The violin part at the intro is alright, but it quickly dissolves into some pretty hefty wank-core, and aside from a couple of nifty parts from Halpern (his sudden blast beat part is great), it’s a pretty dismal track. But then…

“…and it’s the thrill of life that enables us to grow. Locked in the spirit’s line, souls entwine to journey on as one.”

And then suddenly it’s incredible. I’ve regularly used “Have A Blast” as an example of a track that goes from absolute trash to beauty within seconds. And it’s not just the vocal line, during that segment I actually think the guitars finally fit with the vocals and the tone, creating a beautiful segment with a spine-chillingly good vocal melody.

But it’s not a single moment. The number of times this happens during This Time It’s Personal is ridiculous, nearly every song has some moment that redeems it from mediocrity, all of them from Spencer. The only real tracks that fail to have any moments I enjoy would be “Make Total Destroy” and the last four tracks, which I will usually pass on when giving this album a spin. I can honestly say that the only tracks I enjoy right the way through would be “Muramasa”, “Scarlet” and “Erised”, when Spencer is given enough front time to make a difference for the whole track. The melody from “Muramasa” is absolutely brilliant, and the thing that made me look into this album when the trailer was released (I didn’t expect much after the debut), but both the times it is reprised, in “Ragnarok” and “Masamune”, it feels weak and forced, and doesn’t even save those tracks from mediocrity.

“Facepalm Mute” would probably be the worst track here, messier and more metalcore than everything else, but then the chorus hits, and “NEGLECT A SENSE OF IGNORANCE TO ALLTEEEER LIEEEEEESS” and suddenly it’s fantastic. The hooks on this album are possibly the best I’ve heard in years.

“We are the dark, that feed upon the living in sooolid shadoooooawwwww”

“…if you love the guilt then let it die, a life left so clean. We’ll measure the price of misery”

“It’s noooot for meee to saywhatyouneedtobelieeeeve”

“SCARRRLEEEEEEEAAAAAAAATTTT”

This Time It’s Personal is a record I love for basically the opposite of the reasons its fans love it, and I know that full well. I can see what the haters are saying, this is pretty bad, but I just can’t say no to those hooks.

6.7

Originally written for my Facebook page/blog: www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

PERIPHERY Clear

EP · 2014 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Gallifrey
Transparently the Same

Ah, Periphery, my favourite band that I hate for the reason their fans love them, and love them for the reason their fans hate them. For those who don't know, I hate Periphery's instrumentals, but I love Spencer Sotelo's vocals.

Well, his clean ones at least, I'm still not really a fan of his screams, but I never really have warmed to harsh vocals, despite all the metal I listen to. I'll never understand why anyone holds the opposite opinion, Periphery's instrumentals are just so messy and ugly, and Spencer's clean vocals are just so catchy and melodious, but I know for a fact that I'm in the minority.

So I guess I've come to decide that my opinion on a Periphery release is directly proportional to the number of songs that Spencer gets a decent belt going on the vocals, and inversely proportional to the number of seconds in which we can hear the instruments, so I guess I'm pretty divided on this new Clear EP. And yes, Periphery, this is an EP, not a bloody 'experiment', because let's face it, there's absolutely nothing experimental in this. Yeah sure, the way they composed it is kinda cool, with one member getting the helm on a track each, but this is basically the same sound as This Time It's Personal, only less good, because there's less of Spencer being catchy.

I've got to admit though, I do like the Overture on this, at least for the parts when it's being melodic and cool and not djenty and repetitive. I feel it's honestly a bit short, however, and they oversold it by saying there are elements of every song in it, because I can't hear either of the great melodies in "Feed The Ground" and "The Parade of Ashes", but I admire their use of piano here in the intro, and it actually had me a bit more excited for this EP when I first heard it. The overture, although it contains some moments of Periphery's usual djentiness, is probably the first time I've actually enjoyed a Periphery instrumental part, but I'm almost definitely biased because piano is my favourite instrument.

Amongst the six main tracks of this EP, we have two instrumentals, one penned by lead man and founder Misha Mansoor, and the other by Nolly Getgood. Nolly's track, "Extraneous" is pretty inoffensive, I can't really complain or praise it, but Misha's track, which for some retarded reason is the longest here, is pretty much Periphery at their worst. The only thing that would make this worse is if Spencer was doing his metalcore scream all over this like they did on the debut. The guitar tone here is the djentiest on the EP, the riffs are the sloppiest, and the solos are awkwardly placed and strange sounding as usual.

But the other tracks, like on This Time It's Personal, are completely saved by Spencer and his fantastic clean vocals. Spencer's own track, "The Parade of Ashes", is naturally the least djenty, opting more for electronics and catchy pop-punk melodies, and it really just feels like the chugs are just there to fit the overall sound. The chorus is infectiously catchy, although the edgy lyrics and screams near the end nearly kill it. It's not quite as catchy, however, as the chorus from Matt's track "Feed The Ground", which is probably the catchiest thing the band has ever done. Unfortunately, the rest of "Feed The Ground" is possibly the heaviest this record gets, dissolving regularly into straight metalcore, and although the regular inclusion of the chorus saves it, I can't really feel most of the track.

The other two tracks, "The Summer Jam" by Jake Bowen and "Pale Aura" by Mark Holcolm both feature large clean segments from Spencer, but neither of them have the hooks that the other tracks have, making them fall into mediocrity a bit. "The Summer Jam" has a nice vocal part for the verse, but there's a little background riff that really gets on my nerves, probably because of the striking similarity with Kanye West's "Gorgeous".

Clear is a nice little EP from Periphery that more or less continues what This Time It's Personal began, although as usual, I find Periphery's music less that enjoyable unless Spencer is singing at the top of his lungs. I'm sure the fanboys will find something to rave about here, but this isn't a significant release for these guys, I'm hoping their next full length is a bit more.

6.0

Originally written for my Facebook page/blog: www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

PERIPHERY Periphery

Album · 2010 · Metalcore
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Time Signature
Letter experiment...

Genre: djent/metalcore

Periphery is one of those bands that the metal purists and metal elitists absolutely hate, while metalcore fans and djent-lovers tend to praise them. I had obviously heard a lot about this band - good and bad - so I eventually decided to check them out just out of curiosity.

Musically, this album is actually not bad, and there some nice dakkuhduhdaaaw and daaawdaaawduhkkuhdaaawdaaaw djent-styled riffs as well as a couple of nicely groovy metalcore breakdowns (some of which are innovative, many of which are not [but still pretty solid]). One of the main attractions of this album is its progressive nature, and especially the mellow parts and, at times, jazzy guitar leads, are quite good. The band's use of electronica elements is not all that compelling to me, but they are more successful at implementing this feature than many other metalcore/pop bands are.

And then the the singer ruined everything.

He knows how to sing, and his clean voice is actually pretty good, I think, but his harsh vocals are so annoying that they ruin the entire listening experience for me. While the guy has a good singing voice, his overall performance also strikes me as being hysterical and over the top. I have heard a number of metalcore acts with similarly annoying singers, so maybe it's a genre feature or something - whatever it is, it just does not sit well with me.

Fortunately for me, there is an instrumental version of this album out there, so maybe I should check that one out - that might do the music itself some justice.

PERIPHERY Periphery II : This Time It's Personal

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Periphery II: This Time Its Personal is the second full-length studio album by the American Metal band Periphery, it was released in 2012, following up on 2011’s Icarus EP and 2010’s self-titled debut album.

Periphery’s style of music is a highly technical and slightly progressive blend of metal, with a clear Messuggah influence in the angular low riffs and focus on rhythm as well as bursts of a much more clean and melodic side and some integration of electronic music, synths and electro drum sounds.

Alongside a number of other bands, they are considered by some to be one of the most important bands in the controversial Djent subgenre. For those who don’t know, a lot of people argue over whether or not Djent is actually a genre or not, and whether some of the bands are really just Tech-Metal and some are just Death Metal, Prog Metal or Deathcore etc …and to be fair only time will tell on that front.

If you like any other Djent or even vaguely Djent-related bands such as Tesseract, Structures, Uneven Structure, After The Burial, Born Of Osiris, After The Burial, Animals As Leaders, Vildhjart, Architects, BMTH, Sikth, Messugah, or just this sort of end of the musical spectrum in general, then they are at least worth a curiosity listen. The album contains a lot of the key features of styles like Deathcore, Metalcore, Prog Metal, Tech-Metal, Math-Metal jumbled together, with bits of electronic music added in moderation.

In fact, regardless of your opinions on the subgenre’s existence or how much you do or don’t like any of the other bands associated with it, if you have liked anything you’ve heard from Periphery thus far, this album is worth checking out.

The musical quality is very high, the quality of the production is high, there are a large amount of ideas on offer and since the album was made available for streaming by the band, overwhelming public opinion seems to say that singer Spencer Sotelo has improved immensely with the vocals.

There are also guest appearances in the form of guitar solos from John Petrucci of Dream Theater, Guthrie Govan of The Aristocrats and Wes Hauch of The Faceless.

If you have heard the pre-released single ‘Make Total Destroy’ you should have some idea of the album’s direction. There is a lot of lead guitar on this album, very brief sections of Death Vocals and Blast Beats, some spacey atmospheric passages, big clean singing parts, occasional effects-laden arpeggiated sections, and mostly a lot of crushing Djenty sections often in non-standard time signatures.

Other highlights include ‘Face Palm Mute,’ which starts off especially angular but has a lot of dynamics, with music cutting off suddenly hear and there for a drum fill or Sikth-esque fast vocal line, as well as ‘Ragnarok,’ which really displays Spencer’s vocals rather well, ‘Scarlet’ which is almost a little reminiscent of Coheed And Cambria and finally the album closer ‘Masamune.’

Overall, Periphery II should keep a lot of fans happy and is worth checking out if you have an interest in the band but haven’t yet taken the plunge. Furthermore; If you can, you should try and get the special edition with two bonus tracks; an extra instrumental track and a cover of Slipknot’s ‘The Heretic Anthem.’

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