Having mastered the art of wielding a fiercely modern metallic stomp with delicate melodicisms and a smattering of progressive pomp, there’s a reason why Periphery are considered the godfathers of the ‘djent’ movement. Dispensing two full-lengths brimming with both absorbing and elephantine heavy compositions, six track EP ‘Clear’ doesn’t quite deliver the knock out punch the band have proved themselves capable of, yet numerous highlights and an undeniably interesting format makes for a worthy addition to the Maryland sextet’s canon.
Seen as, in their own words “an experiment to explore all the different writing styles in the band”, ‘Clear’ is built around a unique concept in that each song was written entirely by a sole member, resulting in a release which is surprisingly not as varied in scope as we might expect. Of course, the tracks themselves are fantastic slabs of weighty crunch and melodic muscle, yet there’s little present that doesn’t show Periphery venturing from their established element.
That being said, ‘Clear’ is without doubt a wildly enjoyable listen. ‘Feed The Ground’ is all monstrous Slipknot vibes and features a huge chorus hook (not to mention some charming clean passages), ‘The Parade Of Ashes’ combines heaving riffwork and jittering electronics into something that is almost danceable, and instrumental effort ‘Extraneous’ is as finger cramping complex and technically compelling as we have seen the band yet.
As an examination of the breadth of the band’s musical expertise, ‘Clear’ perhaps falls somewhat short, yet with end result a EP’s worth of trademark Periphery numbers, what we’re left with is by no means a wasted attempt. Certainly not career besting, but a welcome stop gap until the third full-length effort rears its head.
Written by Tony Bliss