Published Jul 26, 2016Periphery's strengths as progressive metal writers, arrangers and players were exhibited on their first two LPs, and their ambition to move beyond the rigid, rhythmic confines of the "djent" style they played a role in pioneering came to the forefront with the collaborative nature of their Clear EP and double albums Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega.
By comparison, Periphery III: Select Difficulty is much more of a back-to-basics approach for the Washington outfit, without sacrificing the band's immense talent. Crushing openers "The Price is Wrong" and "Motormouth" show axe-wielding trio Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen and Mark Holcomb are in fine form, drummer Matt Halpern matching their rhythmic complexity with ease.
Provided the early brutality doesn't smash your expectations to pieces, there's plenty of other musical innovation to take away from Periphery III. While electronic elements in their music are nothing new, a further reliance on synthesizers adds welcome flavour to all 11 tracks here, providing bubbling circuitry on "Remain Indoors" and orchestral arrangements that grace "Marigold," the monstrous "Habitual Line-Stepper" and soaring closer "Lune," none of which feel out of place against the other instruments.
Though some may find the metal might tiresome over Periphery III's hour-plus runtime, the drive to keep exploring outside of their stylistic box continues to be crucial to their success. (Sumerian)