By Caleb Rippee
After almost four years, djent pioneers Periphery have released their latest full length album “Djent Is Not A Genre” into the world. Within this release, contains some of the band’s most dark material, both lyrically and melodically.
Following up on such a beast of an album, Periphery IV: Hail Stan, is not a task that would be easy, even for a band as talented as Periphery. But they stepped up to the plate and created something equally ambitious in most respects. Despite this, there are some noticeable differences in sound, however slight they may be.
The first thing you’ll notice is that somehow, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the band improved their production. The album is more full-sounding and tighter than any release preceding it. The guitar tone is crushing, unrelenting, and gargantuan, but also pleasing to the ears and has a very nice balance to it. The drums have their same signature sound but now with even more power and strength behind them. The bass is like a titanium wall of low end and the vocals are as good as ever, with Spencer Sotelo delivering some of his most brutal vocals yet. Periphery is back and they are not playing around.
As mentioned before, this album is probably their darkest in terms of the melodies, riffs, and even lyrics. From the opening track, “Wildfire” we are treated to several dark, chromatic hooks as well as super visceral and tormented lyrics. Containing lines like “As I’m falling to pieces, the vultures are feasting” and “I’m the pessimist patient doll” that really showcase the angst infused into the album.
The album overall sounds very natural and still remains extremely dynamic and sporadic. In a documentary capturing the process of creating this album, guitarist Misha Mansoor said this regarding the writing and recording process for the record: “We kind of learned with Periphery 4 that if we take a little bit of time, we could let these ideas sort of absorb and we can get a pretty good sense of how we feel about them, and I think that’s something that helped us all feel really good about Periphery 4, not only when we were writing it but after the fact because we were able to sit with the ideas and anything that needed to be improved, we could just go back and improve it.”
It is evident that the band took their time and really relieved the stress most bands face when writing an album. The band hadn’t toured since 2020 (aside from a festival or two) and all of the band members used this time to create and write. Several of the members even released music for solo projects or other collaborative pursuits.
With so many complexities, layers, and emotions all fused into one album, the only thing I can say for certain about it is that you should take some time to explore its soundscapes for yourself by listening to it. Love it or hate it, the record is undoubtedly, unashamedly Periphery.