Periphery: Periphery II

It’s prog metal, but a little bolder than usual.

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Like anything trendy, prog metal has become saturated with decent bands who appear stymied by following strict clichés. So, Maryland’s Periphery offer something of a breath of fresh air on their second album. Yes, there are the hallmarks associated with the genre: the combination of shouty/melodic vocals and brutal riffs, giving way to more introspective moments.

What the band have done is to ensure that ultimately each track is blessed with exactly the right approach to provide maximum impact.

On Have A Blast and Masamune, for instance, the emphasis is firmly on more complex, almost jazzy passages, rather than trying to shoehorn some expected fury into the mix. The result is music with a more organic flow. The same is true throughout the album, and with repeated plays you get to appreciate a lot more of the depth which Periphery have injected this time.

There are one or two more metallic tracks, such as Make Total Destroy, but for the most part, the five-piece use the ferocity present only to add vivid colour the foundations of an impressive virtuoso experience. This also opens up the possibilities for what could be a groundbreaking third album.