Periphery is back! After several years in the making and the EP ‘Clear’ in the interim, Periphery is back in full-force with their dual album Juggernaut: Alpha & Omega. For those unfamiliar, Periphery is a progressive metal/djent band out of Maryland who came hard into the metal seen in 2010 with their self-titled debut; followed two years later by Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal. Misha Mansoor, founder of the band credited with reigniting the djent scene, and absolute goofball (love you Misha), established the band back in 2005, and named it as such because he wanted to encompass a broad range of sounds and influences, with no defined direction. After a series of lineup changes leading up to the current sextet and their eventual debut, they have dominated the metal scene for the last five years.
With Juggernaut, I felt my head might explode trying to comprehend all that this group has accomplished in pushing musical boundaries- not to mention doing all of this in their bedrooms. Periphery is pure talent in every aspect, and although some may regard them as a super group, this simply isn’t the case. Juggernaut takes the bands talents to a higher level, whether that is in demonstrating this instrumentally with intense shred-tactics or in their self-production abilities, the album is like one long thought, or better yet, two parts to the same. A story they’ve wanted to tell for year’s that has finally amounted to this work of art. Periphery fans know how individually talented these musicians are (and if you’re new to the band, there are plenty of outlets to find their music), there’s no question about that. But what really shines on Alpha & Omega is Spencer Sotelo’s outstanding vocal showcase. There isn’t a better example of this than on the concept albums’ closing track ‘Stranger Things,’ (this particular track might just be the best summation of everything Periphery has become) as Spencer demonstrates his incredible vocal range, where his highs shine most prominently shortly after the one minute mark, followed by his metal-core screams that anyone who loves similar musical tastes can appreciate and groove to. Juggernaut exhibits everything that Periphery has set out to accomplish since its formation, and it is a fine piece of musical achievement at that, metal fan or not. It’s a highly commendable album, and just might be the metal album of the year, given we’re only a quarter of the way through.
Now there’s definitely some haters out there saying Periphery is no longer the Periphery we came to love so many years ago, but that’s just the natural evolution and progression of a band. You simply can’t expect a band to stay the same for so many years and always produce the same sound. It’s like you staying at the same job doing the same repetitive tasks day in and day out- it gets old, you need to adapt and mature. As Periphery grows and explores new offshoots of their personal talents, and as a collective, I can say that I’m fully behind them. Juggernaut: Alpha & Omega is a prime example of a great piece of work from an extraordinarily talented band that only continues to grow and impress, and whom I believe have barely scratched the surface of their potential.
Catch Periphery on tour now!