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  • Album Review: Periphery "Juggernaut: Alpha" & "Juggernaut: Omega" – 5 out of 5 stars

    Mon, 12 Jan 2015 10:18:00

    Album Review: Periphery "Juggernaut: Alpha" & "Juggernaut: Omega" – 5 out of 5 stars - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

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    The operative word in progressive is "progress." That's the most important thing—isn't it? Regardless of what genre or sub-genre an artist falls into, progress should be the driving force when making new music. That really goes without saying. Periphery don't just move their own sound forward with Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega; they move heavy music ahead as well. This isn't your old man's metal anymore. Nor should it be. Instead, the Washington D.C. outfit opens up the boundaries in the way that their heroes did without ever simply following in anybody's footsteps. For all the talk we get bombarded with about how nobody's picking up instruments anymore or writing songs, Periphery blow all of that out of the water with two albums worthy of legend.

    Alpha commences with the melancholic swoon of "A Black Minute" before jettisoning the soft vocals in favor of a cathartic and corrosive screech from Spencer Sotelo that lumbers in tandem with the mind-blowing guitar of Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen, and Mark Holcomb. Matt Halpern bolts down a downright deadly groove that only subsides during a swinging salsa break, yes, highlighting their fretboard prowess. "Heavy Heart" flaunts one of their biggest hooks to date, while "The Event" and "The Scourge" interlock with a cinematic and orchestral spirit.

    "Alpha" possesses crossover potential because the chorus is that good, yet the drumming and guitar anchor it in the realm of otherworldly brutal bliss especially when augmented by Adam "Nolly" Getgood's bass wallop. "22 Faces" builds a funhouse of technicality that matches Sotelo's storytelling to the narrative instrumentally.

    After "Psychosphere" leaves Alpha done on an upliftingly somber note, Omega commences. Whereas Alpha highlighted the melodic evolution, Omega evinces a delicate progression in terms of the instrumentation and experimentation. The band succeed in their mission with flying colors as "The Bad Thing" and their most epic cut yet, the 12-minute "Omega," stand out. Day one fans will not be disappointed.

    This is a crucial time for Periphery. It's like the jump Deftones made from Around the Fur to White Pony. It's a significant unified body of work that revolutionizes what's happening around them. Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega feel like both a beginning and an end. "Alternative" progresses here as Periphery unleash their magnum opus to date.

    Rick Florino

    What's your favorite Periphery song? Will you be getting Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega on January 27, 2015?

    Get Juggernaut: Alpha on iTunes! Get Juggernaut: Omega on iTunes!

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    Tags: Periphery, Spencer Sotelo, Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen, Matt Halpern, Adam "Nolly" Getgood

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