Periphery

Juggernaut – Neuroteque Review

Juggernaut – Neuroteque Review

“When you hear about certain genres, do you have an image that pops into your head? It’s not always fair, but the most obvious one is black metal. You just got an image of a corpsepainted weeboo hanging out in a dark forest. Boom. I’m a fucking magician. What about sludge? Did you see a backwoods redneck with a twelve-gauge and a six-pack? Sporting beards, greasy locks, and enough flannel to challenge Saskatchewan?” Not your hick uncle’s sludge.

Haken – Vector Review

Haken – Vector Review

“My introduction to the band was on The Mountain, which found the band dropping incredible songs with deeply creative compositions and amazing performances. But The Mountain‘s follow-up—Affinity—has never really established itself in my listening rotation. Unfortunately, while Affinity was full of ideas I loved and things I appreciated intellectually, it was like the girl who’s “perfect” for you but that you can’t get into. So I’ll admit mild consternation when Vector arrived. I wondered if Vector would continue in Affinity‘s footsteps or if Haken had stayed on the move.” Moving and remaking.

Gaia – Aerial Review

Gaia – Aerial Review

“I like reviewing underdogs. Every now and then you run into an album that seems to have everything against it, yet a nagging feeling remains that if they just do everything right, it might be lightning in a bottle. Enter Gaia, brainchild of young multi-instrumentalist Abhiruk Patowary from New Delhi.” Open bottle, prepare for shocks.

Circles – The Last One Review

Circles – The Last One Review

Circles‘ textured approach to prog metal recalls the moodiness and energy of Fates Warning within the context of a post-djent landscape where six-string guitars and straight rhythms are seen as passé. Yet success stirs in their artful and sensitive exploration of space, whether they’re marching through angular hardcore, tip-toeing across delicate electronics, or bobbing in subtle waves. Like many modern, progressive-leaning rock/metal bands, they bring elements of Periphery-worship on their journey but deploy them so intelligently that at times The Last One becomes greater than its individual components.” Always sphere for you.

Piqaia – Artifact Review

Piqaia – Artifact Review

“Over the past few years, Copenhagen’s most gruesome residents have established one of the world’s most fetid death metal breeding grounds, with acts like PhrenelithUndergang, and Taphos garnering global attention. But with one look at the album art — say nothing of the band photo — you’ll recognize that we’re not going to hear from that ilk today. Instead, Piqia forces us to consider the lighter side of the city’s metal scene.” Pastels and prog.

The Dead Centuries – Race Against Time Review

The Dead Centuries – Race Against Time Review

“The much-maligned genre of djent seems to be undergoing a change as of late. It’s becoming more diffuse, more rarely a goal unto itself and more often part of the progressive metal vocabulary. This is a good thing because distilled djent commonly boils down to an exercise in making technical prowess sound as dull as possible. As an ingredient, rather than a meal, it can be used to contrast intense guitar sweeping, as a deliberately unsteady base or a breather passage.” Season sparingly.

Toothgrinder – Phantom Amour Review

Toothgrinder – Phantom Amour Review

“Full disclosure: I took this review on fully expecting to hate this album. Readers may remember I already felt lukewarm about Toothgrinder’s 2016 debut Nocturnal Masquerade, whose poppier and less technical take on The Dillinger Escape Plan was bogged down by repetitive ideas and too many generic radio rock choruses. As the New Jersey quintet’s sharp hardcore riffing seemed to be the best thing about Masquerade, I ultimately concluded the band needed to get heavier, slapped it with a 3.0, and went back to eating Chinese food and jerking off.” Too much disclosure.

Threat Signal – Disconnect Review

Threat Signal – Disconnect Review

“Five years ago, another metal blog referred to As I Lay Dying’s Awakened as “the world’s first retro-metalcore album.” While that same not-to-be-named blog was also recently guilty of authoring one of the most idiotic self-serving shitposts I’ve ever read, in the case of Awakened they were actually right. With its melodic Gothenburg riffs, gang vocals, soaring clean choruses, and pummeling breakdowns, the record hearkened back to mid-00s metalcore at a time when the rest of the scene was too busy being balls deep in whatever Periphery was doing.” Old core, new core. At this point, what does it matter?

Hollow – Home Is Not Where the Heart Is Review

Hollow – Home Is Not Where the Heart Is Review

“A funny thing happened to metalcore in the last six years or so. After the Killswitch Engages and As I Lay Dyings of the world spent years churning out Gothenburg riffs and tough-guy breakdowns like cheap beers at a frat party, metalcore bands finally listened to Periphery and started latching on to this new thing called ‘djent.'” Metalcore through the ages.