Periphery are an exceptional band that not only display great talent but challenge themselves with every release as well as challenging the listener. Their latest double album “Juggernaut” does not fail to meet these requirements and excels in many departments.
“Alpha” quickly displays the two aspects of Periphery‘s sound within it’s opening few tracks. Soaring melodies and passionate vocals, before diving into the sheer brutality that their 7/8 string guitars were built for. There’s never too much of a turn in the one direction. ‘MK Ultra’, despite it’s short length, is one of the songs on this half that better captures this approach to song writing, whilst also showing off Periphery‘s quirky and jokey side, never taking themselves too seriously, even when presenting such a huge vision. Whilst a big curve ball for Periphery, the most ‘normal’ song is fantastic, ‘Heavy Heart’ is subtle and is well constructed and is one of the songs that is purely about the chorus, but that doesn’t matter. Singles are generally the worse songs on an album in terms of ingenuity, ‘Heavy Heart’ works though. ‘Alpha’ evolves from this into a hugely catchy song but still retains the intellectual prowess that is signified with Periphery. ‘Psychosphere’ concludes this half with a great indulgence into Periphery‘s psyche, whilst also bringing back the various motifs featuring throughout “Alpha” which greatly enforce the epic scope they have in mind.
The second half of “Juggernaut” continues the concept envisioned in the first 40 minutes with a short and eponymous reprise of “Alpha”s opener. It takes a slower approach to restart after the break with ‘The Bad Thing’, but embodies a classic Periphery sound. ‘Priestess’ briefly removes all anger before injected the adrenaline right into the artery with ‘Graveless’. This second half appears to have a more brooding down for it, the fast paced melodies take a break for the first part. Still interesting but at a much more machinistic pace. The entire album’s keypoint comes with the second eponymous track ‘Omega’, a calamitously exuberant adventure into Periphery‘s unrestrained potential in all departments. Interweaving melody and pounding rhythm into a 10 minute plus journey. The closure ‘Stranger Things’ is exceptional in it’s own right as well, it finalises the concept and album well whilst leaving an eagerness for just one more minute of music.
Verdict – 9/10 – Some of their most ambitious and best work to date and a statement as to the ability that they can exhibit, but how they’ve matured and bettered their craft.