"Juggernaut: Omega" (Sumerian Records; 2015)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is part two of the review for Periphery's dual disc release,"Juggernaut: Omega." Considered the heavier of the two releases, this disc also comes with a DVD so you get a ton of music and visuals to take in. This disc, in my auditory opinion, is more seamless than its predecessor. You get the feel that it's the end of the story and it's time to wrap up this beast ... but they have to let it roam a bit longer.

The music is incredible. Tons of time signature changes and solos that come and go with jazz and progressive tendencies. The djent is heavier on this release so I might have to lean towards the "Omega" portion but I still like how the discs complement each other. Although progressive music requires a lengthy unfolding of a song, Periphery doesn't follow that request on this disc. Of course, they didn't on the "Alpha" either but they do have a track on "Omega" that clocks in at 11:44 and it has plenty of music packed into its time frame. And the ending monster titled "Stranger Things" has a seven minute running time so I guess they know how to expand if needed.

Every time I think about the name of these dual albums, "Juggernaut" I picture Juggernaut speaking his line in the movie X-Men: The Last Stand when he says, "I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!" These dual-released albums are the Juggernauts!

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"Juggernaut: Alpha" (Sumerian Records; 2015)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is part one of the review for Periphery's dual disc release, "Juggernaut : Alpha." "Juggernaut: Omega" follows this one. Both discs were released on the same day. Those who dig the progressive mastery of Periphery were most likely stoked that they had two discs to devour. Progressive music is allowed to ... hell, it's almost expected to ... bash the norms against the wall and the music that comes forth is so forward that you literally have to lean forward to absorb it. Periphery have taken that definition and rewritten it to fit a mold that they themselves break apart.

Periphery play djent: progressive music with clean and harsh vocals. The guitar can be a nine-string, if they so desire, and they can make some of the coolest music you've heard in a long time. Fans of Dark Tranquillity and their ilk will love Periphery because the music is so creative that you never know what you're going to get, but what you do get is unexpectedly expected. I've listened to their earlier releases (all two of them) and I like what I heard. It was a bit much with the vocals when the harsh was presented but I learned to like their style. Their addition of djent into the the progressive realm adds a flavor that keeps things interesting.

This disc, the first one, is just shy of forty-two minutes long. Most of the songs aren't opuses, they rarely climb above the five minute mark, but the music contained within is delicious enough to keep you wanting more. Thank goodness they decided to release a second offering. Because they use djent the punches come in blasts and it's interesting to know when they will strike. The music does flow but it doesn't always ebb. I could sit and listen to it for days and never tire of it because it comes with such creativity that you just have to soak it in and let it stir before you can describe it to somebody else. It's like a great book but done with music. I'm sure there's a story in there somewhere but I'm just going to prose a review while I recommend you listen to it at your own leisure.

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"Periphery II: This Time It's Personal" (Sumerian Records; 2012)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Periphery are progressive and experimental rock (which includes Djent). They hail from Bethesda, Maryland. This is their second disc, hence the title and they have clean and unclean vocals. The music is progressive and, due to the stringed instruments which start at seven strings and even go up to nine strings, fans of Dream Theater and the such will delight in the guitar solos.

Periphery have a few guest musicians on "Periphery II This Time It's Personal": Guthrie Govan of Asia fame and John Petrucci from DT. Sometimes you can hear a mix of DT with Coheed and Cambria coming thorough the speakers. It's different but also infectious; it's a whole bag full of music.

This disc clocks in at 1:09:05 so its not a causal listen at all. I recommend headphones to get the full juice from Periphery.

Periphery: Spencer Sotelo - lead vocals; Misha "Bulb" Mansoor - guitar, synths, production; Jake Bowen - guitar, synths, programming; Mark Holcomb - guitar; Adam "Nolly" Getgood - bass, guitar, production; Matt Halpern - drums, percussion.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2015 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 15:32:21 -0400.