Periphery: Juggernaut: Alpha / Juggernaut: Omega

Djent scene leaders ascend to the next level

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Just as the djent scene was beginning to lose momentum, the genre’s big guns are out and firing at will and with eerie precision.

The dark and dense yin to Tesseract’s ethereal yang, Periphery have long aspired to push metal forward, but Juggernaut’s double album sprawl hits so many sublime highs and throws up so many unexpected, pristine mutations that it has ‘era-defining milestone’ etched into its very essence.

Although hardly unimpressive on previous records, the sheer dizzying ingenuity of Misha Mansoor’s riffs and arrangements on gleaming micro-symphonies The Scourge and Psychosphere is reaching implausible heights here. But beyond the nerd-friendly complexity, there are huge melodies too; on the geometric swirl of Alpha’s title track, the icy convulsions of Rainbow Gravity and the wildly dynamic The Bad Thing. Neither afraid to be balls-out metal warriors with phasers set to shred, nor disinclined to embrace elegance – the acoustic Priestess breathily recalls Still Life-era Opeth – Periphery sound fully aware that they are raising the bar; despite its lengthy duration and undeniable intricacy, Juggernaut is laudably coherent. Peaking with an extraordinary final triumvirate of the brutal Hell Below, 12-minute death-jazz odyssey Omega and shimmering denouement Stranger Things, this is far beyond djent.

Via Century Media

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.