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Periphery - Periphery IV: Hail Stan CD (album) cover

PERIPHERY IV: HAIL STAN

Periphery

 

Progressive Metal

3.99 | 63 ratings

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Dapper~Blueberries
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In terms of metalcore music that is combined with prog metal, my favorite has got to be Between The Buried and Me, but a close second goes to Periphery.

I knew of Periphery since I first started to get into more progressive metalcore music, though I haven't heard them until getting attached to similar groups like Protest The Hero, The Human Abstract, and Animals As Leaders. While they aren't the forefathers of djent, that title could go to Meshuggah or Fredrick Thordendal's 'Sol Niger Within', Periphery definitely modernized it in my opinion, combining genres like industrial metal, post-hardcore, thrash, and even brostep into the mix, creating a highly intoxicating soup of melodic metalcore riffs and complex solos that intensify and glorifies the atmosphere all around me. While others may disagree, I'd say they are one of those bands without a single bad album. In fact, I'd double down and say their discography could even rival some of the best prog out there, with the only album I thought wasn't as good as it could've been probably being their first, but only due to a more production and mixing side of things. I digress, but with a small but very lovely discography like Periphery, and the fact they'll be releasing their seventh album soon this year, I thought it'd be a perfect time to inspect my all time favorite from the band, and recently (from the time I am writing this) my favorite album of 2019, Periphery IV: Hail Stan.

What else can I say about this gem of an album? Well, for starters, I absolutely love the tracks on here. Each one, from the big winding epic of Reptile, to the bombastic CVRCH BVRNER, to the ethereally magnificent Satellites, each track on here just hypes me up in such a way that as the first minute of Reptile swells up, I am just instantly on board with this Periphery train of metal goodness. I think this album is where the band truly embrace their more modern ideologies within their djent music, as this contains a lot more electronic elements than ever before, taking a slight backseat on just their intense metalcore for more melodic structures, with classical hymns, ambient passages in a few moments, and even slight bits of brostep, all of which delivered like a fine wine in a fancy restaurant, though that same restaurant has a mosh pit in the middle. It is all a glorious fusion of different genres that makes Periphery even more adventurous sounding then they already are.

If we are talking about tracks, I'd say my all time favorite here is Crush. Such an enthralling piece of music that truly showcases all of the album's main facets in a glorious way, showcasing heavy metal riffs with electronic beat music and a really cool little classical outro. It all just comes so well together that I am surprised that this album, or this band for that matter, isn't on the same scale to many prog metal legends like Mastodon or Pain of Salvation to many people. While it isn't a long epic, nor is it an immensely intense track, I still think the band struck the most amount of lightning in a bottle for this song, and this album as a whole.

I think while the instrumentation is a fine wine, Spencer Sotelo's vocals are like a chef's kiss on the whole thing. Without them, it'd be a great instrumental album, but Spencer adds a certain spice to this soup that he increases to a progressive metal classic in my eyes. His entire presence in every song just works so well in every aspect, and he just gives it his all that, no matter what, I never felt he had any weak spots. Ever since the first album, his voice has aged even better with each release, and here he just melts into my veins that whenever I give this album a spin I will instantly get enthralled into it. Periphery as a whole is like a wine, they just get better with age.

This is an instant prog metal legend for me. It is an album that contains both complex riffs that break me up into bits, but also powerfully beautiful movements that I cannot help but feel a certain love in all my heart. I 100% recommend listening to this as this is essential in my eyes. It's an album that sets a new bar to reach for any and all prog metal groups. Just incredible.

Dapper~Blueberries | 5/5 |

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