We (the Top Brass, Benevolent Overlords, etc: Corey, Dan K, Chris, and Josh) had so much fun drunkenly rambling about Sky Void of Stars and Foregone that we decided to come back for round three! This time around, we’re taking a first dive (some of us actually followed this rule) into Periphery V, the highly anticipated new album from djent stars Periphery. Josh is very much aware and familiar with the Periphery discography while the rest of the group is very much unaware. So. How shall this go with that in mind? Will Josh be the only one left standing? Will we collectively end up new fans after this? We ask the hard questions around here, and rarely answer them. But, maybe this time something will be answered.
Need a reminder of how this works? Sure, you can have one. We pick an album off the promo pile we’re interested in, we get drunk, and we share our first impressions. Cohesive reviews can be hard, and we don’t get paid for this shit. Deal with it. Let’s fucking go!
In which all four members of the team assemble in the chat room. Drinks are established.
Corey: The time is nigh
Dan: Time = Emit
Josh: BOOM, drink in hand.
Corey: I have two drinks in hand but also know I will need to make a fridge run at some point – can’t be lettin’ these brewskis get warm
Josh: I got my bottle close, the whole thing
Dan: Warm beer – the Kamelot of beverages
Chris:OK NOW IT IS ON!
Corey: WE NEED TO START THE TRANSCRIPTION
Josh: Who studied at all with IV: Hail Stan?
Chris: I have a big-ass rusty nail, and mixed a second big ass rusty nail in my 9C flask so I am set
Corey: i got halfway through Stan today before work exploded
Dan: I ain’t do no studying
Corey: But yeah that shit rips. I didnt touch any singles from Djent tho.
Chris: I got halfway through IV: Hail Stan. That is my complete and total knowledge of Periphery
Josh: And I’ve got a new bottle of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
Corey: unlike our last couple albums
Dan: I’m gonna quit not-listening-to-Periphery cold turkey
Corey: chris and I are aligned
Josh: Spoiler, I have much dabbled with V. Had to
Corey: I am 0% surprised
Dan: BOO HISS
Chris: And I will add…I am nervous about being the odd man out here, because it appears the “dent” is not my thing
Corey: blogging is not a subcareer
Josh: Normally not mine but here we are and Periphery rules
Chris: Or djent…fucking auto correct
Dan: PERIPHERY VI: DENT IS NOT A VOSSRE
Chris: IT HAS BEGUN
Corey: BUT DOES IT DENT. BUT IS IT DENTED
Josh: IT DOES
Chris: DJENT HAS MADE NO DENT
Josh: AND IS
Chris: TO MY EARS
Dan: KING OF DENT
Corey: lets see if we can keep this up for an hour and a half album haha
Dan: [narrator voice] They couldn’t
Josh: full disclosure…
Josh: I’m curious if y’all will dig this or hate it
Chris: Jesus, the last two songs are a combined 23 minutes?
Josh: if you hate it blame me
Corey: wrong. 25
Corey: we would anyway, dont you sweat it
Chris: I am open to the Periphery…I am ready to accept the djent.
Dan: It’s Josh’s fault either way
Josh: Were Djented. Wait….good thing, THIS AINT A DAMN STREAM ONLY PROMO, FUCK YEAH
Dan: I’m just realizing. Isn’t the album out today anyway?
Dan: I could have Apple Music’d it.
Chris: Cheating – since this is out today, I am listening via Apple Music
Chris: I think the promo said to only listen if I had a PhD in Djentology and knew the band’s full discography in Latin, so no promo for me
Corey: Wait so when are we actually STARTING THE TRANSCRIPTION…and by that i mean pressing play
Chris: Josh, this was your pick so tell us when!
Dan: Go ahead and Fart that Transshittshion
Corey: a count UP?
Josh: on 3 wait…
Corey: WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE
In which we don’t complain about streaming promos, again, consumption proceeds, opinions are exposed, and Josh is on an island.
Josh: Track 1 “Wildfire”
Dan: Y’all fuckin around too long
Josh: Heavy ass staert…or start
Corey: it’s already jenting! denting! I think!
Dan: Oh god…I…Do not think this is for me lol
Corey: This is B-A-N-S Bananas
Josh: keep an ear on Matt Halpern, drummer extraordinaire
Chris: So much of the djent…so many harmonics
Corey: I find Josh’s love for Periphery such a case study but I’m here for it!
Josh: hahahaha, love this shit
Dan: The sound effects here feel like “heavier Dragonforce”
Josh: its my happy place
Dan: The riffs aren’t bad. But the noise is lol
Chris: Is the general consensus among folks that maybe the vocals are a tad…not on the same level as the guitar histrionics?
Josh: the vocals for whatever reason just find my hell yes bone
Chris: There is a lot of “-Core” here
Josh: melodic and sorta popish and weird for me but dammit I love it
Dan: Man, gimme a Tommy Giles Rogers over this any day
Chris: I’ll say this – production-wise this is a beast. Three guitarists I believe?
Josh: yep, dudes are all over the place but it…just works JESUS…drums yall
Dan: We have… half the song left
Corey: hahahaha, There is so much happening
Josh: indeed, aint it great
Chris: Djent may not be genre, but would anyone really classify this as progressive metal? Drumming is absolutely ferocious, but I am not feeling the pop injection in the chorus. Did we just go jazz?
Corey: I’m trying to find these drums Josh speaks to but I keep getting distracted by EVERYTHING ELSE
Dan: We did, and it is instantly the best part of the song (Chris)
Josh: for some crazy reason the vocals just land right for me, same for Stan and backwards, oh yeah those horns
Chris: Sax and electro beats
Josh: dude, all over the place and BOOM right back in it
Corey: I do like this chorus – it big
Josh: I know I’m in the minority here but humor me here. there’s gold in these hills
Corey: Oh I shall humor, don’t you worry
Dan: What the fuck is this orchestral outro out of nowhere
Corey: The good news is that the next song is only 90 seconds longer
Josh: Track 2 “Atropos” chugga chugga
Chris: I’m digging the more straight ahead riff on this one
Josh: right here…shit
Chris: Man…I really don’t like the vocals.
Josh: usually I prefer cookie monsters but this hits….for me
Corey: I don’t have much issue with em
Josh: love the layers
Chris: Is the schtick to just be completely heavy and then just go total pop for the choruses?
Dan: I actually am OK with this so far.
Josh: part of it
Dan: Will I be okay with it after NINE MINUTES? WE SHALL SEE
Corey: he wasnt
Josh: but then, just apeshit out of nowehre…nowhere
Dan: I love this arpeggio part
Josh: this is windows down and screaming shit right here. feel good stuff and bonus for the F bomb
Chris: “CHASE THAT FUCKING MONEY!”
Josh: there’s the drop
Chris: Ok, I’m more in for the heavy middle section “more like I have a heavy middle section, amirite?”
Corey: Yeah, yo, this segment fucks hard…oh wait it stopepd
Josh: its crazy how they just switch shit on a dime
Corey: oh wait its back
Dan: This is fine, but it feels a bit disjointed
Corey: I make myself laugh. Not a good quality
Josh: great quality
Chris: I’m not here for the all spoken rap things happening
Corey: I will say, I am appreciating we aren’t at a consensus adoration of this so far unlike our first two rambles
Josh: honestly I didn’t think we would be
Corey: 20 seconds in: ALL THE FUCKING ALVINS
Josh: im all alvins here
Dan: It’s probably good that the rambles aren’t just us splooging all over random albums
Corey: …but I have a feeling we will be right back to that game in April. ANYWAY THIS SONG IS ONLY LIKE HALF OVER
Corey: fine, a little more than that, but you get the idea
Josh: they do like long tracks. so much ground to cover. lion king part
Chris: I was hoping with the description of a three guitar progressive metal band we’d be getting sick twisted harmonies and solos but this is really just djent breakdowns and pop interludes
Dan: I will say — and this is not a dig at Periphery — I do not recommend this album as one to start listening to at 10:30 when you’ve been up since 4:30 AM.
Chris: Except for whatever is happening in the last minute of this song…did it just become a score to a movie?
Josh: lion king dramatic part
Dan: Cirque du Peripheree
Josh: nailed it. Track 3 “Wax Wings”
Chris: ok Wax Wings a la that other band everyone fawns over now?
Corey: this song… started
Chris: What’s that band with the kid in the sweater?
Josh: no idea
Dan: This intro is by some distance the most interesting thing the album has done so far
Dan: Aww, and then the vocals came in…Sad
Corey: I’m still stuck on that band with that kid in that sweater
Chris: Polyphia…that intro with the clean flamenco tapping thing reminded me of that band
Corey: I believe you!
Chris: Oh lord…now we got Backstreet Boys?
Josh: this part ugh. boy band part. could’ve done without that…that solo though
Chris: I’m going to tread the old man line and say look: this sound fine, and I can see why a ton of folks would really dig it. But three songs in and this does not fit me at all.
Corey: The good news is, Chris, we only have about an hour to go
Josh: fair assessment and I saw it coming way ahead of this
Dan: Time to beer
Chris: “I’M FEELING LIKE AN EMPTY ROOM” has shades of Hatfield exclaiming “I AM THE TABLE”
Corey: This is also not quite my thing, but I’m having fun with it
Josh: Periphery is my one wild card that just does it for me…still can’t put a finger on it but it makes me happy so there’s that
Corey: It legit feels like they are cramming a musical of sorts WITHIN the djent
Dan: Hatfield lol
Corey: and that’s weird for me
Chris: DAMN YOU SPELL CHECK
Corey, I definitely get that “musical” feeling. But… and this is key…I fucking hate musicals. So. There’s that.
Chris: I actually admire the gusto with which they go for that over the top thing. FINALLY A SOLO!
Josh: they got gusto in spades
Corey: This part be big and I like
Dan: Yeah, on balance this track is still the most interesting so far
Chris: ok – Track 4 “EVERYTHING IS FINE!”
Josh: Nice intro. heavy
Chris: I’m digging this intro a lot. the laser gun effects are cool
Corey: lol the promo files are way off in song length
Josh: cookies and harmonics
Corey: im realizing. thats fun
Dan: This, again, is some extremely Herman Li shit
Chris: ok – this is my favorite song so far
Josh: very similar to “Reptile” off Stan
Chris: Love the screaming in the chorus
Corey: wait wait wait
Chris: shit…I kinda love this
Corey: a more concise, aggressive structure is working better for them. SHOCKED
Dan: I was tolerating it until that blast beaty part
Chris: Super hardcore vibes and a bit of Dillinger to my ears
Dan: blast vocally? Whatever you call it
Josh: dude they can do it and rip shit up
Chris: MORE SOLOS!
Corey: THIS ISN’T CHRIS BRODERICK
Chris: Damn – this is BY FAR the best track for me. Not a single complaint
Josh: its great, so much ground covered
Chris: Can confirm I have now consumed my first drink and emptied the flask for drink 2…
Josh: those guitars man
Chris:…but will it be enough?
Chris: (probably not)
Josh: im drink 3 after the 2 previous to this
Dan: Finished my single malt and have now moved onto Two Roads’ red currant and raspberry sour
Chris: I think them sticking to a more consistent vibe really helps this song
Dan: It tastes like my ears feel
Corey: im halfway through a four pack of a papaya IPA from the local brewpub. it’s relaible…reliable, even
Josh: synth laden Track 5 “Silhouette”
Chris: ok Track 5 – Silhouette
Josh: well see if anyone drops here
Dan: DID YOU SAY SYNTHS
Chris: Dan’s feral ears perk up, his snout sniffing synths in the air…
Corey: Man, my mind went LIVE LAUGH LOVE immediately…and I am a broken person
Josh: got dam is that Jim Ross? LOL
Dan: Jesus christ I hate these vocals, YOU ARE RUINING THE SYNTHS VOCAL MAN. What’s his name. SPENCER
Chris: Whoa…those drums
Dan: GO BACK TO THE MALL, SPENCER
Josh: Matt Halpern is a god, the drums are absolutely massive all the way through
Dan: I genuinely like everything about this…except the vocals
Chris: I’m not mad at this at all. Vocals are…okay. Something about how hard he pronounces every syllable
Josh: after this hit YouTube and watch Matt’s “Satellites” play through
Dan: This feels 80s as fuck, and then it’s like Claudio Sanchez jumped on to sing. Just… why
Corey: anyway, who else is fucking with that Yob/Cave In tour?
Josh: I dig Spencer’s vocals…dude has some ridiculous range
Dan: I may dabble! I need to see my doppelganger Stephen Brodsky
Josh: Atl and I might dabble
Chris: DON’T GET ME STARTED ON MY DISTASTE FOR COHEED AND CAMBRIA, DAN…
Corey: you sure do buddy
Chris: I am all in on that Yob/Cave In tour
Corey: Wait, someone else has a distaste for C&C? I knew we were friends lol
Chris: SO MUCH DISTASTE
Dan: Medical facts: if you go see YOB, you receive credit for a colonoscopy
Dan: Your bowels will be emptied for five years
Corey: Track 6 “Dying Star”
Dan: OK speaking of bowels, here’s Dying Star
Chris: Maybe it’s the whiskey, but something has somewhat clicked for me. Dying Star is also working for me so far.
Corey: This shit is going off the rails
Josh: completely, and im here for it
Chris: This might be three in a row I like?
Chris: What is happening here?
Corey: I was just about to say this has been my favorite track so far aaaaaand now its not
Josh: but its back
Dan: I think I’m behind
Chris: lol yes Corey. We are locked. Please stop the pseudo rap sing thing….please. THINK OF THE CHILDREN
Josh: LOLOLOL I love that gif
Chris: I still like this more than the first two songs
Corey: Now that I know GIFs post cleanly in WP, my world has expanded infinitely
Dan: This is one of the better ones, I guess. But that’s like picking “one of the better Tottenham soccer players”
Chris: More of that Polyphia thing
Josh: Still in the minority but got dam those melodies
Chris: I kinda can’t stand that sound now…yes it’s complex but it also sounds twee as fuck
Corey: Josh when we get to the end of this, I do eventually want to know your thoughts on how this stacks up with other Periphery things
Josh: all in for it
Corey: considering my complete lack of awareness
Chris: I’ll say this. Josh I love you for standing up to this. I LOVE YOU FOR LOVING THIS, BUDDY!
Josh: I LOVE THE SHIT OUT OF IT. NO KIDDING
Dan: Disagree with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it, or something like that lol
Josh: well, it is the internet haha. Track 7 “ZAGREUS”
Corey: oh shit wrong Stan
Dan: Okay, next track is Zagreus
Josh: Drums again
Dan: You better not fuck this up, Periphery
Chris: Meshuggah lite?
Dan: Dammit, they might be fuckin’ it up
Chris: OH GOD STOP THIS VOCAL TRAVESTY. Does anyone else get a kind of Mars Volta vibe with Spenser’s vocals?
Josh: haven’t thought about it but in a slight way, yes…cookies!
Chris: I kinda like the weird electronic touches in the background
Dan: I don’t know that I hear it tbh. Shout out Cedric tho
Chris: On the cleaner moments…CEdric tho has the music backing him the right way
Josh: dude….. love all this back and forth and in and out of heavy vs clean
Chris: Anyone else get to the solo yet? I fucked up the tracker and may have jumped ahead
Josh: Hell yes
Chris: Because the solo was TIGHT
Josh: 3:29 in TIGHT AS HELL
Corey: shit somehow i feel a few seconds behind
Josh: here we are 3:57
Corey: OR DID I? TIME ISNT REAL ACCORDING TO THIS PROMO
Chris: 3:44 is the solo
Corey: it’s 3:50 for me lol
Chris: ok at least we’re close
Corey: yeah it just ended
Dan: How many amateur bloggers does it take to sync an audio track
Corey: its a musical again. more than 4, as it happens
Corey: SELF MURDER
Chris: One thing I’ll say is that I wish these songs would end on a stronger note…too many interludes and extensions added to the songs
Josh: soundtrack to close
Chris: We’re back in soundtrack territory with a minute left in the song
Josh: epic feel though
Chris: and it’s not really making the song any better, tbh
Josh: like an action movie cliffhanger
Chris: yeah it’s epic but it doesn’t feel like it ties to anything
Josh: Track 8 “Dracul Gras”
Corey: not much ties to much id argue lol
Chris: Again killer heavy opening I dig
Corey: dracula grass
Josh: heavy meshuggah vibes…more comfortable than a coffin…That groove, dammm
Corey: I do like these grooves
Josh: im telling you, Spencer has got some fucking range
Chris: I dunno…it’s okay but I know I’m in trouble when I’m thinking to myself “I only have 20 minutes of this album”
Josh: I highly recommend hitting YouTube and watching the “making of” from this album and the last one…or maybe that’s just for me lol
Corey: if I end up on “periphery” in youtube, I’ll probably just end up stuck on the video for “Alpha” again, still love that track
Chris: Seriously: this is a song about, in their words, “a portly vampire and his trials and tribulations in his village”
Corey: been. there.
Chris: done. that
Josh: got the t-shirt haha
Dan: Okay, so…Does that mean we know enough about portly vampires to review this track? I don’t wanna run afoul of metal review law
Corey: lets ask Kamelot!
Josh: well, theyre portly?
Chris: I dunno…is this on Napalm?
Josh: HAHAHAHAHA. this run right here is fucking great and wait… ahhhhh. Dracula kills everyone right here
Chris: you talking about that big ass heavy part? Yeah…I can get behind that
Corey: NO GARLIC TO BE FOUND
Josh: Halpern again, nails it
Chris: Dig the breakdown here near the end
Corey: ooo this is nice but are we near the end? I can’t tell anymore
Josh: almost, synth ending
Dan: Not near enough lol
Corey: it COULD have ended on that
Dan: WTF they’re bringing the synths back now?
Corey: but it fucked up
Dan: Guys, have some fuckin taste here, come on
Josh: yea this part we could’ve done without
Chris: So reading through their track by track breakdown, three of these songs were inspired by video games. Make of that what you will…
Josh: They are huge gamers
Dan: Zagreus is Hades
Josh: HUGE into Hades
Dan: Track 9 “Thanks Nobuo” is a nod to the Final Fantasy composer I presume?
Josh: Pretty sure
Josh: Excellent opening riffs, love the twisted guitars in this one
Corey: see, I’m into this so far which makes me nervous
Josh: those quick bursts are great
Josh: those stair step chords, fuck yes
Chris: So far I am with this song…really like how they shift and move into those quick burst of energy before stretching out the more chrous like lines
Corey: ok, THIS has been my favorite track so far
Dan: This is fine.
Corey: but im very tired haha
Dan: It also borrows quite a bit from Nobuo. ANd we have 10 minutes left
Corey: actually, speaking of fine, maybe that was favorite, im lost
Dan: I remember nothing of it So
Chris: This feels like the most successful of the “mix 20 things together” songs. But I think I’m still partial to “Everything is FINE” the most.
Dan: Maybe? Maybe not? Maybe fuck myself
Corey: my sentiments align with Chris, who is clearly better at using the words
Josh: this is an epic, all in, closer typical of Periphery. love it
Chris: Yeah me and words…”Queen of Bee” “DENT”. This is probably my second highest rated track on the album
Josh: ah the bees
Corey: it’s not the queen of bee. but its the princess of bee
Chris: Jeuss…there’s still 3:30 left on this song?
Josh: hahahaha, yep
Chris: This album could really use some tightening
Corey: according to my itunes there’s 4:30 left lol
Chris: Oh jeeez. I think there was a good spot to make this like an 8-minute song. Now it’s all fluff
Corey: yeah. this cant be 25% fluff. But it seems like it will be!
Chris: Jesus…it really IS just fluff!
Dan: Yeah we’re done here lol
In which our heroes, thoroughly soused and still going strong despite 3 out 4 of said heroes disapproval, attempt to wrap up.
Corey: But hey, our feelings on periphery may differ, but if this were Kamelots america we wouldnt even be here talking about it right now.
Josh: HAHAHAHAHA so true
Chris: All of us would be arrested for talking about it in Kamelot’s world
Josh: I still cannot believe that shit
Corey: so this sure did crawl home
Josh: so in know im on an island here, correct?
Chris: Well I don’t know about you, but the album just finished and I would like to raise our glasses to the first an ONLY time I will be most likely be listening to Periphery, lol
Corey: haha i would say so, but I am truly very glad we mixed it up this month
Chris: Awe too – I love that we took a chance on this, and LOVE that you love it, Josh.
Corey: I will say that there are things periphery does that i like
Josh: I DO
Corey: this is my first time sitting down and listening to an album in full however
Dan: It had its moments, but on balance… I’m pretty sure I hate it and will never return to it.
Corey: and it may be the last time i do so for awhile haha
Dan: Josh, thank you for bringing it to us all the same. I appreciate trying something new.
Chris: Dan and I will curl up in the corner with the Bart Graft
Josh: fair enough honestly. and I knew going in this was a long shot for the group
Dan: And now I know a little bit more about them so that someday I might be able to review them when President Kamelot wins election
Dan: My issue, I think, is that when every track tries to do EVERYTHING, it makes it hard for any one thing to feel really memorable. I liked some of these in the moment, but I remember none of them. Now that we’re done listening.
Corey: thats a good take
Chris: I’ve already forgotten all of the Djent
Josh: Alright so…
Corey: Josh! Resident Periphery expert, and only one eligible to have an opinion… how many alvins?
Josh: 4 out of 5 ALVINS
Josh: Hail Stan is still my reigning champ
Chris: I’ll allow it, though I would maybe be a 2 of out 5 ALVINS
Josh: Ranking their numbered albums:
Josh: Periphery I: 2 out of 5, Periphery II: 2 out of 5, Periphery III: 3 out of 5, Periphery IV: 5 out 5, Periphery V: 4 out of 5
Josh has all the Alvins for Periphery V and the rest, well…do not. But that’s ok. We all came, kicked ass, and still had a great time. Check back next month when we make more poor decisions for the sake of internet content. For now, trust this process and believe Josh (and him alone), Periphery V is awesome.
— Top Brass
Periphery V: Djent Is Not A Genre is available now on 3DOT Recordings. For more information on Periphery, visit their official website.