Album Review: Periphery III – Select Difficulty


Band: Periphery (Washington D.C.)
Album: III – Select Difficulty
Record Label: Sumerian Records
Release Date: July 21, 2016

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Periphery is one of those bands where you either really love them or you just don’t like them. It has taken so much for me to get into this band, for no reason other than the clean vocals. Musically these guys are fucking talented and very well rounded in their playing. Drummer Matt Halpern always gives his all when playing whether live or for the studio recording. Misha just kinda dominates anything related to the guitar and it shows well on this album. But in the past I just couldn’t get past the clean vocals, its not even that I dislike clean vocals, because I think clean vocals work rather well in metal and hope more bands figure that out! I think its just that the first few vocalists for Periphery were not my favorite and I just kinda preferred them as an Instrumental band, which is crazy because to my knowledge they haven’t recorded with their other vocalists??? To me the growling/screaming vocals were always fantastic and then it just sounded like someone going through puberty when the clean vocals kicked in. . . I know that’s kinda mean but its true that’s what I heard when I listened to them.

Okay, on to the new record. “The Price is Wrong” fucking rules and is the most solid opening track I have heard from the band in a while, again I haven’t listened to them in a while, so there’s that. Hearing this song makes me wanna jump in the pit and fuck shit up; I am sure many others will feel the same way! Through out the rest of the album including tracks like “Flatline,””Catch Fire,” and “Marigold” the violin in this song is sick! The gang chant of the chorus in “Marigold” at the 4:17 mark gave me chills hearing it the first time another sure to be crowd pleaser.

Upon first listen to the album, I was still a bit put off by the clean vocals, but for absolutely no reason. As the album progressed, I discovered my distaste was quickly going away. Spencer is one hell of a vocalist, to be able to scream or growl and then go back into his clean voice like that has got to take a lot of practice; I can only imagine it’s a lot of wear on his vocal cords too.

God DAMN, the more Select Difficulty plays, I just can’t get enough! I find a new song that I love with each spin of the album. “Prayer Position” is one hell of a track on the back half of the album and to go from that into the closing track “Lune,” which is a beautiful song with just enough power to close out the album as it should be done.

Periphery is one hardworking band. While they are only 5 albums deep, each album has a ton of heart and soul put into it, not to mention the blood, sweat and tears (thanks Machine Head, now your song is stuck in my head) into their own music. They also have a helping hand in other music as well, bassist Adam “Nolly” Getgood recently was helping Mix and Engineer the new Devin Townsend album.

All in all, Select Difficulty is a nice addition to the Periphery catalogue. It is in stores today (7-21-16) and I urge you to pick it up if you haven’t already!

Rating: 4/5 while the clean vocals have gotten better over the years they still took away from a couple songs the first few listens

RIYL: Tesseract, Vildhjarta, Veil of Maya, Born of Osiris

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