Release Date: Jul 22, 2016
Record label: Warner Music
Periphery's strengths as progressive metal writers, arrangers and players were exhibited on their first two LPs, and their ambition to move beyond the rigid, rhythmic confines of the "djent" style they played a role in pioneering came to the forefront with the collaborative nature of their Clear EP and double albums Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega. By comparison, Periphery III: Select Difficulty is much more of a back-to-basics approach for the Washington outfit, without sacrificing the band's immense talent. Crushing openers "The Price is Wrong" and "Motormouth" show axe-wielding trio Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen and Mark Holcomb are in fine form, drummer Matt Halpern matching their rhythmic complexity with ease.
Review Summary: Periphery III: This Time It's The Same As Last TimeWriting about Periphery has become something of a song and dance at this point. A very regularly metered one, at that. A new album, usually entitled Periphery X: Non Sequitur! comes out, gripes are made about Spencer Sotelo's singing (which, I'll admit, I've come to enjoy as his voice has finally found a palatable niche in Periphery's music).
You want djent? Once considered pioneers of djent, it’s hard to believe that ‘III: Select Difficulty’ is the work of the same Periphery – with this, the six-piece’s fifth album, steering away from the progressive metal inventiveness of their past.A poppier polish, especially vocally, coats this album as they move into catchier, crowd-pleasing metalcore territory with mixed results. Whilst their production and technical skill is exceptional, tracks like ‘Catch Fire’ – complete with Issues-esque R&B vocals and juvenile lyrics – are such a contrast to the heavier moments that it’s largely a tug of war. .
Review Summary: Periphery III: Now even more overstuffed with ideas!Periphery were never very subtle, but then again that was never the point. Their straightforward and instantly gratifying brand of progressive metal has rivaled acts like Between the Buried and Me for how musically divisive they can be among listeners. As usual, the extreme reactions were unwarranted, as Periphery proved to be yet another flawed but enjoyable enough modern metal band with a few great songs here and there.