The band deliver big on their most expansive release yet.
It's a common pre-release marketing talking point to tag a new album as a band's "best work yet", but in the case of Periphery's Periphery V: Djent Is Not A Genre, it truly is a great stride in a discography already celebrated among the best in contemporary prog. The album arrived this past Friday, March 10th via 3DOT Recordings adorned by the picturesque artistry of metal artwork icon Travis Smith. Like cover itself, Periphery V is a vivid tapestry traversing a wide array of elements cohesively bridged to form one moving experience.
It all begins with a hard-hitting duo, Wildfire & Atropos, the latter of which sported an multidisciplinary video incorporating AI alongside stunning shots to put a face to its social commentary. A strong Spencer Sotelo vocal performance carries Atropos forward while Wildfire excels in its instrumentation, never once conforming to tried tropes and always shape shifting with each passing minute. Among the myriad of neat details here are the elegant saxophone solo injected at the midpoint — a sharp distinction from the raging riffs courtesy of Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen, and Mark Holcomb. Dying Star & Dracul Gras continue down the same hard-hitting nature though on a much grander scale with big choruses to boast. These are anthems meant for the live stage, warranting was is sure to be a riveting response.
Periphery V is as emotional a record as it is a heavy one and tracks like Wax Wings and Silhouette tap into their vulnerable side, resulting in what is sure to be catharsis for the band. Ethereal guitar and orchestral melodies soar high in alternation with jazz passages, carrying forth the band's goal of not wanting to tread down conventions. It all comes to a momentous conclusion with Thanks Nobuo — arguably one of the best tracks written by the band (yet). This extensive, 11-minute listen is a showcase of the band's musical strengths with each band member delivering big on their respective ends. Atmospheric excellence is but one way to describe this emotional rollercoaster.
Periphery IV (2019) was a towering effort in its own right, setting high expectations that are astoundingly shattered by the boundless body of work that is Periphery V — a feat to strive towards. Soak in the afterglow of this triumphant effort, one track at a time, and watch the band's dynamism unfold.
Periphery V is available now via 3DOT Recordings (Order).