Ladies and Djentlemen, introducing to our world of djent reviews, the band Periphery. Periphery is a U.S. band signed with Sumerian Records along with bands like Veil of Maya, The Faceless, and Divine Heresy. These guys have been djenting since 2010, and they aren’t gonna stop any time soon. Their style is a mix of progressive metal (reminiscent of Meshuggah) and metalcore, which is a common combination with arguably more popular bands.
“Periphery II” includes 14 tracks and almost 70 minutes of mind-twisting songwriting. The album presents many layers of djent with the drums, bass, and guitar. The guitar carries the melody, along with synths and vocals.
Special guests join in to provide interest. The most notable is Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, who sings on one of the softer songs, “Erised.” Of course, since this album is part metalcore, the vocalist needs to provide both “cleans” and “screams.” I can say Petrucci does well with the screams, but his clean vocals remind me a bit too much of mathcore and post-hardcore vocalists – which, for me, is not a good thing.
The djent is strong on tracks like “Ji,” “Froggin Bullfish,” “The Gods Must Be Crazy,” “Make Total Destroy,” and “Erased.” The band does get soft at some points, with softer interludes deviating from everything else. In fact “Erised” and “Epoch” are all about being soft. “Erised” starts out hard and then goes to more atmospheric synths and melodic pickings. It’s little things like this that make an album truly special.
However, there are two problems with “Periphery II.” I don’t really like the clean vocals, and the drums and bass are turned down way too low. Maybe it’s for stylistic reasons, but I feel the drums should be louder. It really helps to hear them when listening to the chaotic djent style, as there are many twists and turns in the time signatures. I give this an 8.5/10.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.