Periphery’s self-titled 2010 release was the talk of the metal community for months and months, even those who weren’t too fussed on its progressive grooves still gave it a listen and fell in love. 2012 is going to be much the same with the release of Periphery II, packed full of the groovy, progressive, djent metal tracks that we know and love.

A variety of influences can be heard throughout the album, with classical and even techno elements found in many of the songs, with ‘Havin’ A Blast’ sounding like it got it’s intro from a 70s cop show-come-arcade game. While ‘Froggin Bullfish’ is packed with that much variety that your ears are sure in for a treat.

Some, such as ‘Ji’ or ‘Scarlet’, feature clean, somewhat pop-like vocals, however vocalist Spencer Sotelo still gives them a distinct fierce sound. Don’t be too disheartened, all the elements that made Periphery are still here.

The rhythmic riffs and mind-bending solos of not only lead guitarist Misha Mansoor, but also a variety of guest shredders including John Petrucci (Dream Theater); featured alongside death growls (sharp, clear and incredibly brutal ones at that) as well as kick arse, guttural scrams.

The one problem is that it feels a bit too long, with a whopping hour and ten minute length. Even though every track is amazing it does become a little too much and it makes you question the placing of certain tracks. For instance, the techno sounding instrumental, ‘Epoch’ seems out of place and could have been left off the album entirely.

Regardless, Periphery II may just might be one of the best releases this year, and certainly the most diverse.

– Marissa Hanson

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