Periphery - Juggernaut Alpha and Omega
Sumerian Records
Disc 1: 10 songs (42:00) Disc 2: 7 songs (40:00)
Release year: 2015
Sumerian Records
Reviewed by Joel
Normally I can go song by song, and give a description of everything you could possibly expect. With the third(fourth if your counting the Clear EP) disc coming from Washington DC's Periphery, I am unable to do that. Boasting two discs, Alpha and Omega, and the nature of their music, makes it impossible, and leaves nothing for your imagination.
The first track, A Black Minute, will throw you for a loop if you have been listening to the band for awhile. Spencer Sotelo's vocals are immediately heard over clean guitars, and atmospheric keyboards(synth?). This would be the point to say if you do not like the higher pitched clean vocals, then this is definitely not for you. A lot of what makes up these two disc, is either the vocals or the technical musicianship of all the members involved. Mk Ultra will take you back to the crazied frenziness the band is known for. I personally hate the word “Djent” so I will call it “Modern Progressive Metal.” The rest of the first disc known as “Alpha” has some great melodic moments, like on Heavy Heart and The Scourge, while the title track has an almost eight-bit nintendo effect in the beginning before the song trades the melody for downright heaviness. 22 Faces is a song, like Alpha that shows a more mature band, who can still play incredibly technical, but also has grown in the songwriting department. Rainbow Gravity and the instrumental Four Lights bring back memories of the Periphery II disc. Much like the songs Alpha and 22 Faces, Psychosphere shows a talented band, composing a song, they may or may not have been able to, when they first started. Technical ability? Check! Melody? Check! Solid songwriting? Check! A great way to end part one!

The instrumental Reprise opens part 2, followed by the been there, heard that riffing, of The Bad Thing. Not saying we have heard this already on the disc, but its one of those chugging riffs and screaming vocals, that the band has done many times before, we know how rhythmically gifted the band is. The song that threw me for a loop, much like A Black Minute did, was Priestess. A mostly slower song, that again showcases Sotello's range, and is all the better for its placement on the disc. Some great intricate clean guitar playing(can't tell if all three of them are playing something different). Graveless features some great guitar riffing with a few dissonant notes thrown into the riffs. The song is pretty damn heavy and fast, and the gang growls with the melodic clean sung chorus, are day and night dynamics, and it works perfectly on this song. Hell Below has a dark and downtuned feel, though the constant hardcore-esque screaming is a bit much for this particular song. Though they do offer a dynamic, when the brief clean vocals are used. People used the Meshuggah comparison with this band when they first started, and this song musically definitely has that feel in the main riffs. Technical guitar flourishes do give the song a true Periphery feel. Classical piano opens up the mammoth Omega that comes in at just over eleven and half minutes long. I will not even begin to describe every verse, chorus, bridge, or even a detour the song takes. With I think every vocal style, and guitar riff covered, this song has everything that has to offer, broken up into one long song. Did I mention it is also one of the best, longer songs the band has ever made? Strange Things forgoes the initial craziness in favor of a more straight ahead song with Sotello showing off his vocal(and even a falsetto range!). Give the song almost two minutes and the band returns in all its psychotic frenzied guitar riff glory with a great drum solo that breaks up the verses. Strange Things may be the last song on both discs, but it is equally memorable as anything that came before it.

I can't say Periphery are my favorite band, but I have a high level of respect for their musical abilities, and with this release I can happily call myself more than just a passing fan. Let's hope for full length number four, pushing the band even farther than where they have gone before.

Killing Songs :
I liked all of Disc 1 plus Priestess, Omega, and Strange Things
Joel quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Periphery that we have reviewed:
Periphery - Periphery IV: HAIL STAN reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal reviewed by Leah and quoted 70 / 100
Periphery - Periphery reviewed by Crash and quoted 71 / 100
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