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.’