Periphery – Alpha and Omega Album Review
There are so many genres in metal, and with it, a clusterfuck of typecasts: Black metal, Sludge metal, Doom pop, Norwegian black metal….. Norwegian black metal with a cherry on top… everything has to be compartmentalized…..
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The genre known as “Djent” was derived from the sound that you make when impersonating an open bottom string on the guitar…. I will give you a minute to repeat the word to make the sound…. Beavis and Butthead would be proud.
Periphery, a stalwart of that so-called genre, recently released the double album “Juggernaut: Alpha & Omega” a good name for an album that is ominous in sound, larger than life, and mysterious. Unfortunately a horrible name for Periphery’s newest record.
And that’s not to say I didn’t like it, it just wasn’t a Juggernautic….. It was not “mercilessly destructive”, and will not “crush it’s devotees”…… definitions according to the Oxford Dictionary.
But it was a good metal record, more progressive than anything. What I like about this record was what was hidden on the Periphery of the songs. For every crunching guitar, there was a 15 second jazz lead in. For every Meshuggah-like time signature, there was an Muzak outro…. And this is what surprised me, those changes were effortless, as if the jazz, and the reggae, and the folk had been hidden underneath the original song, flowing just under the radar….
Standouts include the haunting and tension filled “Black Minute”, The almost poppy plus extra hook of “Heavy House” the brutal tech metal of “Graveless”, and the hangover jazz melody at the end of “Hell Below”. Misha Mansoor’s guitar work is stellar on “MK Ultra”.
There are points on the record where vocalist, Spencer Sotelo, sounds like someone stole his ball on the playground… whiny and tinny, which diminishes the overall aesthetic of the record, and reminds me that I was that boy on the playground, but the group is tight, all musicians owning their respected instruments.
Another definition of Juggernaut is “an overwhelming force”, and this definition fits much better with the sound of this overall record…. as many things can be defined as overwhelming… beauty, love, passion…..and are hard to put in a box…
They are hard to compartmentalize…
I fucking hate compartments
– Mayor Peach –
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