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Live: Periphery In Manchester

Periphery and Good Tiger prog out in Manchester

Given the ferocity with which Good Tiger kick off the night, it’s surprising to learn that this is only their fifth gig.

(Image credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal)

They may not have fully gelled as a unit just yet, but their tunes do the talking as they blaze through tracks from their debut album A Head Full Of Moonlight. Vocalist Elliot Coleman (formerly of TesseracT), knows how to work the crowd, and is on double duties, as he involves the front row while hitting acrobatic notes. It’s Enjoy The Rain that delivers the next gut punch, with a powerful rolling chorus motif and stop-start dynamic shifts. Single Snake Oil connects more solidly live than on record, with a razor-sharp immediacy that recalls the Dillinger Escape Plan and Mars Volta.

All too briefly, their set is over, and the overwhelming impression they leave is that of a band who are still learning how to gel, yet are also more polished already than they have any right to be. Moreover, they’re better placed than most to transcend the progressive metal genre and break into the mainstream.

(Image credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal)

Periphery are a well-oiled machine, and Juggernaut, their most recent release that includes two meaty albums, is well-named; there are six members in the band – including three guitarists – and all are all interacting with the audience tonight. It’s impossible not to get caught up in their raw energy. Combine that with riffs that are so powerful they need a Star Trek-style containment field to render them safe for human interaction, and you’ve got the recipe for a great rock show. Drawing heavily from Juggernaut, the set list features dramatic slow-burner The Scourge, the thrillingly heavy The Bad Thing and the effervescent single Alpha, which closes the main set. When Periphery return to encore with 22 Faces, Four Lights and Stranger Things, the crowd go wild, embracing the new tracks and scrabbling to grab singer Spencer Sotelo as he climbs into the crowd. Guitar mastermind Misha Mansoor remains onstage, wearing a broad smile throughout the set and visibly elated by the reaction.

Periphery are a well-oiled machine; it’s impossible not to get caught up in their raw energy.

It’s a breathless performance, but some of their more melodic, older tracks would be welcome; Make Total Destroy and Icarus Lives! provoke plenty of moshing and crowdsurfing, but All New Materials or Jetpacks Was Yes! would have made for a nice change of pace. Moreover the atmospheric and proggy Erised or the monolithic riffs of Have A Blast would have slotted in as tracks that equally balance the heavy, technical and atmospheric sides of the band. These are minor concerns, however. Fundamentally, the conclusion from tonight is that Periphery are one of the most compelling touring metal acts today.