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Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.70 | 101 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Customers who bought (band name) also bought "Periphery". Cool. Let's check them out. Hmm. The vocals are out. Next!

A few months later. Periphery again? Okay, let's give them another shot. Nope. Not with those vocals.

Several months later. Periphery? Try. Fail.

And then the band appears on a list of top progressive metal bands. But I just can't get passed those vocals. And then "Periphery II: This Time It's Personal" is on LoudWire's list of 25 top prog metal albums, and I'm looking at the list and thinking, "I have 15 of those and five more are on standby in my Amazon cart. You know what? Let's just buy the damn album and give it a fair listen.

Periphery. Progressive metal. But clearly there's a djent approach. And there's a metalcore style too not unlike Between the Buried & Me or Protest the Hero. Then there's the vocals which immediately remind me of Sugar Cult or Jimmy Eat World. Emo. Powerful vocals for sure and with an edge and a harsh scream. But there's also that plaintive heartbreaking tone that just sounds so like that, like emo pop punk. I can take it in its own genre. But here on a metal album?

The funny thing is that everything I might have had to say against this album has ultimately come to mean little or nothing. The fact is simply that I enjoy listening to this album. Okay, so it's like Animals as Leaders without Tosin Abasi combined with Jimmy Eat World and Protest the Hero guiding the song writing and musical composition. And there's another element which was nagging at me for two nights until I could place it: the gruff, shouted vocals remind me of Slipknot. Come to think of it, what little I know of Slipknot's music, there's some similarity in places. Is the tuning to dropped B, perhaps?

Well, that's just the thing about this album. There's so much going on that it's easy to say, "This part reminds me of xxx in places, and xyz in other places." I mean, there're the djent parts, the clean and pretty echoing guitar parts, the electronic percussion parts accompanying the pretty guitars, the wild lead parts, and more emotive Jimmy Eat World-like parts, and more! I keep taking my phone out of my pocket while walking and checking what track I'm listening to and that's a very good sign. Listen to Spencer Sotelo just belt out the note at 3:52 in "Ragnarok" or the sudden change in the music in "Facepalm Mute" from aggressive and heavy to light, atmospheric and electronic. How about the violin and proggy keyboard sound that starts off "Have a Blast"? A list could easily be made because each track seems to be able to shift and move around in different directions.

Now, I understand that not everyone wants this kind of music in their ears and not everyone will be accepting of the vocals simply for their style. At times I am even tempted to think the music and vocals are actually not that interesting. But then soon something comes along to perk up my ears. And so, "In fact, f**k it, Nick," I'm going to go ahead and give this album four stars. I'm not likely to go and buy another Periphery album so soon but this one here has quickly won me over. Now I'm adding Protest the Hero and Animals as Leaders to my playlist for the next week.

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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