Periphery – Clear [EP] 2014 album review
Welcome to my review of Periphery’s new EP, Clear.
You can listen to the Album here.
Let me start off by saying that I’ve never listened to a full Periphery album before. I’ve heard a song or two but today I officially lost my Periphery virginity.
The verdict? If I was a girl my legs would be quivering.
I’ve noticed a common theme in the whole metal/core/sub-genre arguments that people get so caught up in online. Somewhere in the comments someone always pipes up and says something like:
So-and-So band is not real -insert meaningless sub-genre here-, you should listen to Periphery/Meshuggah.
Sometimes they will also add an obligatory,
They are true -insert meaningless sub-genre here-, without them -insert meaningless sub-genre here- wouldn’t exist!
I guess those people are being particularly hipster about it.
Regardless, the hype got me intrigued so I loaded up a playlist of Clear this morning to see what all the fuss is about.
Overture is the first track on the album.
Slow piano build with a lot of beautiful dissonance; I can tell this is going to be good. Guitars and drums come in with beautiful harmony and then disappear again to make way for a weirdly beautiful piano solo and then back into the dissonant intro.
It is a really great fitting intro and it is already clear that Periphery know how to write a good song.
BAM! kicked in the face by “The Summer Jam”
A song that literally forces you to rock the headbang. I instantly notice that Periphery likes their off time drumbeats but they make it work and balance it well with groovy as well as intricate musical breaks.
Spencer Sotelo’s vocals have gotten a lot stronger and clearer for this album compared to what I heard on one of their older tracks. It is good to see that a band that has been around for a while now can still grow and improve on their sound.
Track 3 “Feed The Ground”
A full on headbanger of a song with a lot more screaming introduced. The screaming is good though. It has pitch and is used creatively instead of totally saturating the track.
There was one part of the song where they do almost exactly this, and it is disappointing as hell.
I guess they did it for a reason. As a song writer I understand the urge to screw with the listener so props to Periphery for being great trolls, I guess.
It is still a good song, though, so I can’t wholly fault it, maybe that is the point. They bring in back and finish with a well written build-up followed by a breakdown and then another breakdown and then another breakdown. Sick \m/
Track 4 “Zero” is a well composed progressive instrumental
I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you by trying to put it into words. I would fail to do it justice. It’s also five minutes long. Just go listen to it – trust me.
Track 5 “The Parade of Ashes”
Here we have an awesome build that gets the blood pumping with some straight 4/4 snare on the beat goodness. This is a real rocking track, the vocals are also really good, the best on this album, but I thought this band was suppose to be heavier…
Oh damn! I didn’t know I had to wait till like halfway into the song for things to get brutal. Nice!
A solo too! Awesome, sick just sick. You get an extra star for this song. Adding it to my everyday playlist.
Track 6 “Extraneous”
Another progressive instrumental, this one is a lot heavier than the first. It’s good but, Devin Townsend anyone? Moving on.
Track 7 “Pale Aura”
This song gives me mixed feelings. In some parts it is absolutely amazing. An absolute achievement in music, but then in others I feel like Spencer just pushes too hard and wrecks the track.
The beginning is good, the end is really good, but there is a whole chunk in the middle that is just painful to listen to.
It’s a shame for these blemishes on an otherwise solid EP. I still think it is good. I cannot say it isn’t but I feel it could have been better with a little more thought put into the last two songs especially.
Periphery earn 8 stars from me for Clear.
A great album that I would recommend to any heavy music fan and a good introduction to the band for me.
I will surely be listening to more Periphery in the future. If you liked the album, support the artist by grabbing it on amazon.
I hope you enjoyed this review, Join me for the next one 🙂