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Thursday, June 28, 2012
Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal review
Year : 2012
Genre : Progressive Metal, Djent with an Alternative Metal overtone
Label : Roadrunner Records / Sumerian Records
Origin : United States
Rating : 7.5 / 10 (rating evolved from 7.0)
Buy it now
Regardless of my stoic subjective determination to refuse to review the first full length package of this formation due to the percept by which I personally have found said outing an exceptionally narcissistic one with its vastly out of proportion 62 minutes of playtime, the band now emerges with a full length weighing in at 69 - random series of facial ticks - minutes, that is an immediate sign of a super-possible - kind of : probable - false sense of proportion not only maintained but nurtured, indicating that the band might have ventured right through the periphery - daaaamnimdouche - to fall in love with their own mistakes. Even the premiere Periphery fan admitted that the debut disc of the formation overstays its welcome. Falling in love with your mistakes has tremendous entertainment value, and ridiculously-, even uniquely so if you are serious about this suggested affair. Nothing is more hilarious-, nor more miserable on the face of this reality surface than the Artist who explains how and why his Art works. Periphery thought they have the juice to be awesomeluciousandofcoursehighlyspectacularenough to reign rampant/evident during and for 69 minutes, which is an exhausting amount of time to spend even under a ravenous Nina Hartley in the 69 posture, so, the premiere US based Meshuggah fanband has a whole lot of things to prove to Yours, Truly to justify the Godzilla program length. The album is pretty good. Read on to find out what I think about this disc, if you really want to know but you are afraid to ask.
The review, of course will analyze the premiere techniques and methodologies of the spin, but let's start with Spencer Sotelo, because he is the sole ingredient that will reign as the most prominent experience that you will take at face value throughout the disc. Spencer Sotelo is top of the foodchain caliber with exceptional talent, and I especially like the fact that he refused to rely on pitch correction on the album. As result of this, his singing is ultra-natural, and embraces the unintended traits of a decent take, as opposed to pitch correct them to mathematical perfection. No trace of effect wizardry is notable on his clean delivery, either, and his singing power kicks your ass to hell and back. Sotelo is top tier. During this album, he exhibits an increased propensity to deliver along the highest extremes of the mid tempo domain, - you already know that he is a heavy duty headvoice singer - on which his performance looks pretty good, and sometimes a Patton-like vibe comes through his singing. He still is prone to rely on his Favorite Personal Interval of All Times, which, for the information of the music snob, is the interval of the first degree and the second degree of the major scale. Spencer comes from down under, and he concludes with the shape I have been mentioning, 9 times out of 10 motives. Nothing wrong with it at all, but nothing too puzzling or surprising about it either, when you find yourself delighted of the fact that you are perfectly capable to tell when Spencer is going to sing the first and then the second degree of the major scaaa - aaaaale. (Where "scaaa" is C and "aaaaale" is D.) He still is reliant on a tamer variant of now-tolerable overemoting, but his technique - as hinted - is much more ballsy, and, thank God & Co., he almost completely ceased to use James LaBrie's trademark "powerless sighs at the ending of the last syllable" anti-technique which is an all time top 10 candidate of the most eminent elements that you can harm the mere will to exist with.
As hinted, the absence of this disturbing LaBrie method is not complete. You can witness it harming the reality surface at 0:57-0:58 in the track called "Scarlet", for example - but it is not emphasized THAT much. As in LaBrie attempts to exhibit drama when singing "youuuuuAAAH" - where the "AAAH" is super-subtle, and reigns as the Kill, too. But it is there. Via the example I'm giving you right now by Mr. Sotelo, the dagger is being put into your flesh, too, it just does not get twisted around 360°, LaBrie style. Generally speaking, Spencer Sotelo still brings a top tier variant of the quasi-folkish melodic high frequency singing, yet, the addition of the more intricately detailed mid-range - which reeks the Patton vibe - is something that does all kinds of relieving services to the builds, courtesy of an alternative metal character that flatters the borders of funky and twisted psychedelic soul - Patton style. Seriously, the BEST moments of the LP reek Faith No More, and more of those moments would punish mammoth ass.
The vocal segment snippet starting from 3:15 in the track "Have a Blast" is an example of a moment with a Patton vibe, or how about the snippet starting from 1:49 in "Facepalm Mute"? A similar, solid Patton vibe with the funky, playful trademark overtone of the FNM notability clearly is observable, and I for one do enjoy this particular devious ethos much more than the engagement of Spencer's doubtless epic siren mode, that which oftentimes makes me wonder why don't they just show him support, comfort him and tell him to take a break if art is THIS fucking painful at the moment. The times Spencer decides to take a stroll on the upper stories of his register - stroll?? he spends 65% of the time there, but, at least, not 95% - the build is prone to exhibit the character of melodic metalcore, yet one must admit and appreciate the fact that the band has a great sense of understanding of the time interval the melodic metalcore character is worth showing for, never prolonging it after it has been addressed thoroughly, most often in brief and almost enjoyable fashion. Almost.
Remotely unrelated to the paragraph : 1:27 of the track "Ji" is another Faith No More moment. Also notice the spaced out segment starting at 2:04 : one of the most eloquent segments of the release. I love it dearly. It reeks a sense of the most eloquent '80s synhpop, exhibiting mature compositional diligence and fantastic musical beauty. A superb sense of caressing harmony is showcased in this segment. At 2:25, I give in, and hereby declare that the rating of the release has evolved half a point from 7 to 7.5 on the 5th of July, 2012.
(On another note : the power metal "HEY! HEY!" fist pumping exclamation segment in the hook of this song - showing up at 3:33 for example - is the epitome of a fantastically deluded - ha!! - and tasteless decision.)
The fabric of things the release primarily is about, is not as reluctant to address the whole set of attractions it is capable to offer as if it would be in any hurry hiding those at the first place. The primordial element, of course, is the set of 8 string rumbling guitars, combined with the kinetic percussion, but the rhythm section, on its own merits, though exhibits complexity, is almost never reliant on clearly identifiable patterns, and here is why : Periphery, as an enterprise, simply lacks the concept of that silly little thing called silence. You know, the one that comes in packets. Notice that the reason why Meshuggah is the Kolossus of recent metal is not that they can put sounds all over the place, but because they can put silence into the mass of sound at very intriguing places.
Periphery is all about the sound, and their latest statement, not too much - if at all - surprisingly, is the praising of the rampant overdose of it. Mind you that I personally don't necessarily consider this as an inevitable hindrance, but they - the Periphery members - once again fail to realize the moment by which they have told everything they currently are capable to. It's "just" a compositional ethos, and one that demands recognition for the doubtless demanding character it takes the effort to register as, yet it gets tolling to efficiently relate to as the album's time progresses. The premiere method Periphery uses to interrupt the "flow of the rumble" are radio friendly instrumental quasi-interludes : brief and efficient, but never really venturing beyond the charms and attractions of the "uhuh, igetya" register. "Luck As A Constant", for example, features a prolonged harmonic chord structure with two central melodic shapes in the track's acceptable climax, but its beauty withers galaxies away from the magic of, say, the vastly simplistic and heart wrenchingly beautiful ending riff of Meshuggah's "Straws pulled at random", just to name an appropriate counter example in which the intended effect crushes and lifts the soul at the very same time for the "mere" reason of fun.
The Periphery album, as Novelty, vastly overstays its welcome this time around, too. I'm at the beginning of track number 6, and 24 minutes still are to go to the conclusion of the spin, regardless how I feel that I already got everything the disc could hit me with. "Fukc", I don't care, this is rebel time, and I would be supremely surprised if it would turn out that THAT 24 minutes contain data which would have altered the face-, the temper of this review. I will check out the remaining 24 minutes when my nervous system once again will have the capacity to absorb the music as novelty, as now the audio data is "just" brainwave-entrainment, and this is the mistake that the Periphery guys once again do commit, - overiteration - and the mistake they once again fall in love with. They watch happily as the novelty of their music withers the fuck away due to its limited-, but intriguing set of charms. How many brutal knockouts you can watch before growing immune to watching them for a while? Say "zeppelin" 555 times, and it won't mean a thing. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing, but you can grow a fat fuck in the process with virtual anti-sexy skin sausages folding to your lovehandles. I refuse to end this review on a bitter note though, because I feel that the addition of the intricate mid frequency vocal detail did good service to the overall, latest-to-date Periphery experience. But, other than that, the wheel did not get reinvented, and nothing else beyond the prominent mid-signing has been added to the overall flow-, to the overall shape of things of what you already have heard - and then heard again and again and again - from this band on their pervertedly lengthy debut which now is overkilled by an even more tolling playtime. A likable, dangerless variant on Play-It-Safe-Sam math metal without the conception of silence implemented, period.
A recommended listen, but, the frightening thing is not that you can not take it in one sitting.
The frightening thing is that you can, actually.
Rating : 7.5 / 10 (score evolved from 7.0 at the 5th of July, 2012.)
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