Ah, a new Periphery record. I’ve really been looking forward to listen to some fresh, new and cheerful djent again. So let’s dive right into this review – here are my thoughts on “Periphery III: Select Difficulty”.
In general, this is exactly the album you would expect from a band like Periphery – crushing riffs played on heavily down-tuned guitars with way too many strings (I’ll just never get the hype about seven and eight string guitars), polyrhythmic patterns, stunning vocals and of course some cheesiness here and there. To be honest, it doesn’t seem like Periphery have made a huge step forward with this album, which is quite understandable considering the two “Juggernaut” albums were released just one and a half years ago. But in the end, does it even matter that much? Why would you want to change something that works? I personally love the band’s mix of djent and catchy melodies, and if you do, too, then you will definitely like this record as well.
On the contrary, I didn’t expect “Periphery III: Select Difficulty” to top the “Juggernaut” albums. Although I like the record more now that I listened to it several times, it still can’t outperform “Juggernaut” in terms of ambience, catchiness and dynamics. There are little, but effective changes on this new album, though, which have an impact on the overall sound.
First of all, Periphery are presenting some slightly longer tracks than before. Two songs cross the six minute mark and three songs the seven minute mark – altogether, the album is over one hour long, and none of the tracks feels unnecessary or too much, which is quite an achievement.
The use of classical instruments is new and makes the album quite interesting. No worries, this is definitely not a symphonic album, but the subtle use of violins (or at least something that sounds alike) gives the songs a whole new vibe I really enjoy.
It’s arguable whether the increased utilization of sing-along parts during several choruses (no idea how to call those “wohoo”s any differently) is a good thing. I have to admit that I found myself singing along, so they do serve their purpose. And because I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I’ll just go ahead and say it: I’m not mad about sing-along parts and catchy music at all. As long as there are heavy parts here and there and the songs sound great overall, why not? (Yes, I also dig those cheerful “We are young”-s in “Marigold”.)
All in all, “Periphery III: Select Difficulty” provides heavy tracks, catchy tracks, experimental tracks and everything in between. Periphery are staying true to their sound, but this is not a phenomenal record in general. There is no “Make Total Destroy” 2.0 or some sort of revolutionary sound here. This is a compilation of well-written and enjoyable songs and that’s it. I really can’t say that I’ve been blown away by this new record, but it’s absolutely worth checking out if you have a soft spot for catchy djent.
- The Price Is Wrong
- The Way The News Goes…
- Remain Indoors
- Habitual Line-Stepper
- Catch Fire
- Prayer Position