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Periphery: Clear

Djent (pronounced-Gent) frontrunners, Maryland's own Periphery, have issued a very artistic concept with their new release, Clear (Sumerian Records). Don't call it an EP and don't call it a full record either, but clocking in at just under 30 minutes in length and including 7 tracks in all, this an interesting piece of music.

OK, the concept; Clear consists of 7 different pieces of music that all contain a common melodic theme that is begun with in the opening track, "Overture", with each of the remaining 6 tracks being completely different from the next, while each song is being controlled by one member of the band to realize the completion of each individual song. I have never come across a project where each member was capable of writing and producing their own pieces of music, like we have on this record which makes this a very interesting idea.

The CD begins with, "Overture" which is just that, a melodic, classically themed piece of music that serves as the calm before the storm and also the starting point of the entire record. It is quite a pretty and moving piece that is the gateway to the 2nd tune which is guitarist, Jake Bowen's, "The Summer Jam". One thing that this release shows is which member is responsible for what type of Periphery song in the bands catalog. "The Summer Jam" sounds in line with Periphery II material, melodic with a more pronounced vocal stance, while, "Feed the Ground" is the brainchild of Monster drum God, Matt Halpern. Halpern pushes the pace on this one with enough aggression that is sure to please everyone. The vocals tend to smooth out the rough edges a bit and this song also features a nice orchestral interlude before stepping it back up to a groove filled, double bass thumping of an end. Next up is Djent guitar hero, Misha Mansoor's instrumental, "Zero". You can instantly hear who writes the heavy, detuned plodding riffs in Periphery. "Zero" is a nod back to the nasty riffage that can be heard all over Periphery's debut and their Icarus Lives EP. This is the type of riffing that first caught my ear back in 2010. Periphery fans will love "Bulb's" song, for sure.

Singer, Spencer Sotelo, has his song, "The Parade of Ashes", up next as song #5. This is easily the most commercial and Pop-like song out of the lot, with a chorus that is almost danceable. While heavier in the verses, this is my least favorite track out of the bunch. The Pop-like chorus elements make me think that Pink is about to start singing, this tune just doesn't do it for me. "Extraneous" is the result of Periphery bassist, Adam "Nolly" Getgood, who gets to stretch out on the guitar and show what Red Seas Fire fans (and Bare Knuckle Pickup enthusiasts) already know, that "Nolly" is one hell of a guitar player. "Extraneous" is another instrumental and also the shortest track on the record and also quite possibly the heaviest. This track is steeped in rhythmic syncopation with an almost savage sensibility to it. You can almost hear what a Jungle might sound like, angry, eerie and bombastic. Track #7 is from guitarist Mark Holcomb and entitled, "Pure Aura", and this song would have easily found its way onto Periphery II. Riffy while also containing a strong melodic feel, "Pure Aura" has Halpern crushing on the drums with all of the other elements that make Periphery, Periphery, like sound effect textures woven around the guitar layering.

While the guys of Periphery consider this release to be "experimental", it sounds very much like what we have become accustomed to hearing from these Djent gurus. The endless thick stringed riffing, the unbelievable percussive and rhythmic drumming and the top notched production is what makes Periphery what they are. Clear might be the sum of all 6 members individual musical parts, but this is still very much a Periphery record and these guys show why they are still at the forefront of the Progressive Metal/Djent scene today. This is a great idea of a recording and all 6 members do a great job of showing the strengths that they bring to the Periphery table.


Track Listing
1. "Overture"
2. "The Summer Jam" (Jake Bowen)
3. "Feed the Ground" (Matt Halpern)
4. "Zero" (Misha Mansoor)
5. "The Parade of Ashes" (Spencer Sotelo)
6. "Extraneous" (Adam "Nolly" Getgood)
7. "Pale Aura" (Mark Holcomb)

Added: February 5th 2014
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1349
Language: english

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