As the last of the djent scene coat tail riders begin to splutter and fall by the wayside, it is with eerie predictability that the genres luminaries have re-defined an era with what is a sprawling, forwards pushing metallic mutation of milestone stamping proportions. ‘Juggernaut: Alpha/Omega’, a somewhat extraordinary double event from Washington whiz kids Periphery, raises the bar to almost inconceivable heights.
Although always hugely impressive on previous outings, the sublime instrumental mastery thrown up from the likes of ‘The Scourge’ and a dizzying ‘MK Ultra’ earmark a band on the very top of their game, fusion-eque jazzy lead work colliding with slabs of concrete syncopation and chin stroking complexity.
Crucially, however, ‘Juggernaut’, offsets its dork friendly arrangements with what are undeniably the biggest melodies of the band’s career. The sensational pop flavoured chorus of ‘Heavy Heart’ and the quite simply mammoth vocal hooks of ‘Alpha’‘s title-track are nigh on radio-friendly, and sit rather comfortably within the record’s dynamic whirlwind.
Indeed, given its lavish duration and formidable density, ‘Juggernaut’ is anything but long-winded; its pristine intricacies delivering so many eye-popping highs that there’s simply no time to get bored. The best is saved ’til last, the album reaching its remarkable peak and rounding off ‘Omega’ with the teeth-shattering ‘Hell Below’, the title-track with its progressive tech-death jazz symphony, and the melodic elegance of ‘Stranger Things’.
It’s a breathless finish, and Periphery bow out safe in the knowledge that ‘Juggernaut’ not only transcends the djent albatross by an out-of-sight distance, but has all the ingenuity and deftly hidden rewards to etch itself into metal’s great pantheon of time honoured classics. A rich tapestry of state of the art delights.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)