Saturday, 8 February 2014

Periphery - Clear

Release Date: 28th Jan 2014
Genre: Progressive metalcore
Record Label: Sumerian Records
Number of Tracks: 7

Overall Rating: 7.9/10

Periphery were formed in 2005 and have previously released 2 albums and an EP. Their latest 7 track EP is a follow up to their well received 2012 album This Time It's Personal and they are a band that get better and better with every release.

Combining each individual's outstanding ability with their instruments, and their unique and exceptional method of song construction, Periphery have created an album which showcases their fantastic songwriting skills. This mature record bleeds quality and style as progression and melodicity swell around the album. Each song on the album is written by a different member of the band, so gives us an insight as to how each member thinks. 

Opening track 'Overture' is the only track written by the entire band and it introduces the operatic theme demonstrated throughout. This is a fantastic opening tune, as it is a mix of brilliant piano playing both lead and rhythm, and progressive heaviness. A definite highlight of the album is the uniqueness of this song. 
2nd Track 'The Summer Jam' is very modern progressive. A groovy main riff and some catchy vocals carry you through the track. It's a good individual track, but the fact it doesn't follow on from 'Overture'  is a little disappointing. 'Feed the Ground' is up next and this track is written by Matt Halpern - Percussionist. That explains why it is very percussion heavy, thudding drums and some funky bass lines make this track move as quick as superman.  The odd lead riff and a fantastic vocal range, make this track a definite highlight. Track 4 'Zero'  is 1 of 2 instrumental tracks, and this is written by frontman Misha Mansoor. He really is the creative force behind the band, and he has written a typical Periphery track. A weakness to this track however is the tone of the guitar seems un-natural, as if its been made totally on a computer.

My favorite track on this album is track 5 'The Parade of Ashes'. The intro and pre chorus is a build up to a bouncy riff and pleasing drum line. The chorus is totally fantastic. The lyrics are worth noting here too: "Concealing the intent of fascists/ Resurrect / Humanity has fallen by the way side". And the solo ain't half bad either. The second of our instrumentals is track 6 "Extraneous" is a bit of a let down considering what it has to follow, however it is still a fantastic instrumental track which seems individual to the rest of the album. The track has a hint of early Keith Merrow to it. Final track 'Pale Aura' and is written by guitarist Mark Holcomb. The riff in this is very good, bordering on technical metal. It has a quaint ending to the track and is a suitable way of finishing the album.

It's very much an experimental album as none of the tracks seem to work together as an album should. Overall, Periphery have written a great set of 7 tracks that individually show what Periphery are about as well as each individual's talent as a songwriter. 

It is a great appetizer for what is to come in late 2014, when 'Juggernaut' finally makes its way to us.

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