Published Apr 02, 2019At this point in their already illustrious career, Periphery have proven themselves more than capable of delivering consistency and quality with each release. The Washington, DC five, led by trailblazer Misha Mansoor, helped pioneer a subgenre of progressive metal (djent) back in the day, and have continued to lead the pack despite being imitated by countless others.
With little left to prove and few left to convince, Periphery decided to shake things up, opting to release their upcoming album through their own label, 3DOT Recordings.
Without any label pressure, the band afforded themselves an entire year to compose Periphery IV, cultivating a workspace in which they could fully explore their newfound freedom. Periphery flaunt their boundless autonomy on the album's very first track, "Reptile," at over 16 minutes, the band's lengthiest effort to date.
Periphery are no strangers to lengthy progressive epics; however, on past releases, these tracks were typically reserved for last. The decision to lead with such a track almost feels like a statement from Periphery, announcing the band's extrication from outside influence.
The opening progressive odyssey is then followed by the album's two heaviest tracks: "Blood Eagle," which can only be described as heavy as fuck, and the appropriately named "CHVRCH BVRNER." While "Blood Eagle" turns it up to 11, the overall vibe is one we've heard before tracks such as "Hell Below" or "The Price is Wrong." "CHVRCH BVRNER," however, explores a type of heavy we have yet to see from Periphery, at times closely resembling bands like JINJER (instrumentally), Stray From the Path (vocally), and the Dillinger Escape Plan (chaotically).
Despite the extra time dedicated to the album's composition, at its core, it is still very much a Periphery album. Aside from the obvious example, "Crush" — a full-blown Combichrist-like industrial track — Periphery don't pull many surprises on Periphery IV, but that's not to say they didn't make good use of their freedom. Periphery IV is masterfully executed, well thought-out, extremely well-produced, and offers up nine more great Periphery tracks that we can all enjoy. (3DOT Recordings)