Review: Periphery’s Juggernauts are Juggernuts
Back when I was a little shit, I found an unsigned band I sorta liked on MySpace. They were called Periphery, and they had high-pitched clean singing instead of screaming. They also had this thing where they played a lot of “ones and zeros,” but in this magical Meshuggah-meets-Michael Jackson syncopation kinda way which I thought was pretty fuckin’ radical.
They ended up metamorphosing into this thing, like with Guitar World covers and silly YouTube videos and the like. How did that happen? How could a band with effeminate vocals and more pop than a fucking Pepsi factory ripple our industry? Why were these weirdos popular, and did they deserve the inevitable hate?
Juggernaut: Omega and Juggernaut: Alpha, the double-whammy releases soon to hit shelves, are the final answers to those questions.
You’d think that Periphery I: Periphery and Periphery II: More Periphery were enough: the goddamn confetti birthday cakes of metal, the goddamn Old and New Testaments in the Djent Bible, their recipes handwritten in groovy breakdowns and wankerous solo action, and then baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and rested a full ten minutes before eating. Even ol’ grandma was a fan, she had a lightbulb embroidered on her fucking apron.
But no, they weren’t enough. Periphery III: Even More Periphery is that final step: darker, faster, heavier, wickeder, poppier, sexier, harder. It’s like The Dark Knight Rises compared to that awful Keaton/Burton shit — what’s lacking in the campy department is reclaimed tenfold in the face-melting department. Coincidentally, Periphery have now prevailed as their own enemies — just like Batman, fighting the evil within by proxy of fighting it without — but like any worthy superhero/supergroup, they’ve overcome with flying colors because evil is dumb.
The incredulous tr00 metal folk want to slash ‘n’ bash anything non-distinct from hyperspace underground black metal, crunchy extreme metal (inclusive of face-painters), and old-skule thrash. Oh and maybe Enabler, and maybe Destrage, and maybe all those other MetalSucks babies fed from plump red hipster breasts. “I hate the vocals.” “These guys are pussies.” “Fake metal.” “Sucks dick.”
Whatever! Check it: Alpha and Omega are full-fledged masterpieces: intricately deft, jazzy as all hell, passionate, moody, estrogen- and testosterone-infused beasts. They represent a real progression of this contemptuous genre, a perfect fusion of what works on radio and what works while you windmill your shitty beer-soaked haircut in an undulating crowd of beaming, partytastic metalheads.
So I love Periphery, and so should you. From the diverse talent on Clear to all those old MySpace demos to the early Bulb Soundclick days and now to Juggernaut, few bands have achieved such remarkable status among both fuck-giving and non-fuck-giving listeners alike. And when it comes to heavy music, there are only so many fucks you can give before just giving into the simple enjoyment of a bomb-ass singer, timeless djazz riffage, finger-snapping groove, and heavier-than-thou mastery. Juggernaut is a delicious hour-plus of exactly that, and if can you hear it, you’ll have to see a face doctor to cure that ear-to-ear grin with less fabulous music.