For some time Ive been eagerly anticipating the next installment from Djent wizards Periphery. The previous III Select Difficulty has become an utter favorite of mine, in terms of recent metal records. Its string of electrifying songs in the opening are still riveting to this day. The bar has been set high and a meaty sixty four minutes look set to rock my world. The opening three tracks get the blood pumping and considering Reptile is sixteen minutes long its as good a stretch of music as the last time around.
Unfortunately beyond the first twenty five minutes the record slowly losses footing, its songs don't reach the same octane energy. Somewhat indecisive directions emerge as the tracks seem to dip their toes into potential new directions, with unconvincing results. The club beat drum kit and digital dub bass rumble of Crush doesn't quite hit its potential. With a juxtaposing atmosphere above its backbone, its stitched together with string sections that reach towards epic heights but don't quite gel so smoothly.
Their singer Spencer Sotelo has a fantastic voice that is capable of far more than just Metal. Its always a pleasure to have him swoon on the microphone but when the instrumentation softens around him on songs like Satalites and It's Only Smiles, a vibe emerges similar to Bring Me The Horizon's pursuit of Pop Rock infusion. It doesn't sit all to well with this band, Its these moments and other noticeable infusions of string sections, choirs and electronics that don't always find convincing cohesion.
Its all found between a wash of brutal Djent and when experimenting within their comfort zone Periphery knock out banging sequences like the breakdown on Follow Your Ghost. It toys with an uneasy timing sequence that maddens the gruesome pummeling of its dexterous guitar picking. Sentient Glow is another song with some dynamic energy leaning into a Metalcore direction, as it breaks its choppy riffs up with melodic outbreaks. Fun, but its really all about the first three songs for me, everything else seems marked by some creative shift that doesn't quite fit their mold.
At sixteen minutes Reptile is able to hold your attention with remarkable consistency. Periphery deploy the best of their metallic strikes, an intensity that's only broken at the midway atmospheric break to bring on a familiar rough, throaty poetic voice from Sikth. After that the stakes are raised, soaring to new heights only to plummet back into lunging grooves that lead off a mesmerizing monochromatic chug fest. Were at the ten minute mark and the best is yet to come, guitar solos illuminate and sections are recycled before birthing another ear worming groove of mechanical precision.
The following Blood Eagle has been on repeat since the video dropped on youtube. Its nothing but a dirty indulgent festering of primal groove and primitive brutality shaped up into an onslaught of high octane guitar shredding and pummeling percussive attitude. Eventually it births a magical guitar solo that descends from melody to atonal shredding with delight. Ultimately this album is one third spectacular and two thirds ambiguous to whether I like it or not. Ive given much time to dig it, maybe now some absence is now the remedy to its enjoyment.
Favorite Tracks: Reptile, Blood Eagle, Follow Your Ghost