Periphery V - Djent Is Not A Genre: US progressive metallers prove why they're miles ahead of their peers

Tech metal pioneers Periphery continue to push boundaries with their seventh album V: Djent Is Not A Genre

Periphery V: Djent Is Not A Genre
(Image: © 3Dot)

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It's a historical certainty that whatever flavour-of-the-month tag emerges, there will always be bands who transcend it and create their own legacy. Periphery have consistently proved themselves a cut above the rest since their twin Juggernaut albums, and therefore have every right to be categorised however they seem fit.

What’s more, if there was going to be one band from the accomplished but often po-faced world of Meshuggah-inspired tech metal capable of unveiling such a dismissive and snarky album title, it’s them. 

A key part to Periphery’s enviable run over their recent output is the self-aware undertone that permeates the polished mix of scintillating heaviness, fiendish dexterity and seductive earworms. 

It’s these standards by which V is judged, and the album could usurp some of its forebears from the podium. Straight out of the blocks, Wildfire and Atropos show the band’s myriad elements at their most refined, taking in juddering riffs, Matt Halpern’s fiddly drumming and an irresistible chorus where Spencer Sotelo’s vocals can flourish. 

While the three guitarists flex their melodic muscle on Wax Wings, the frontman perfectly balances hostile vocals with cleans that stay just the right side of saccharine. The juxtaposition reaches its zenith as the antagonist chaos of Everything Is Fine! gives way to the 80s-synth-soaked tenderness of Silhouette

Following on from the last album’s magnum opus, Reptile, Dracul Gras and Thanks Nobuo attempt to cram as many ideas as possible into their excessive lengths. But while the latter’s numerous ideas fail to coherently gel around one of the band’s most inventively memorable riffs and a soaring vocal, the former builds into a snarling, opulent epic that descends into blissful synths. Call them what you want, just make sure there’s a superlative somewhere in the title.

Periphery V: Djent Is Not A Genre is out Friday March 10 via 3Dot. 

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.