PERIPHERY – Periphery: Live In London

PERIPHERY - Periphery: Live In London
  • 8/10
    PERIPHERY - Periphery: Live In London - 8/10


Release date: November 13, 2020

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Djent progenitors Periphery celebrate fifteen years of existence with their first full-length live release, Live In London. Recorded in November of 2019, the setlist draws heavily from USA Billboard Independent Chart topper Periphery IV: Hail Stan, released in April of that year. Periphery kicks off their concert with “Reptile”, the eighteen minute opus that opens Hail Stan. The song serves as an excellent entry point for the band, encompassing as it does the wide range of the band’s capabilities and styles. Quiet moody passages rub up against hard hitting walls of noise, clean almost Emo vocals overlap with the gruff and dirty. The clarity of the production is impressive and the sound clear, and the crowd–when the band isn’t overpowering them–is clearly enjoying the show.

“CHVRCH BVRNER” is next, a pummeling crash of instrumentation certain to have electrified anyone falsely lulled by the synth outro of “Reptile”. “Remain Indoors” follows, and it is on this track vocalist  Spenser Sotelo really seems to catch fire, stretching both his range and emotional impact to the upper limits. The dark menace of “Follow Your Ghost” brings the action back to Hail Stan; the melodic “Scarlet”, a key track originally from 2014’s Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal, almost sounds like a track from an entirely different band were it not for the unifying thread of Soleto’s voice.

One of Periphery’s key strengths is the variety in the songwriting and arranging;  the heavy guitars are like a kick in the face in after the simulated strings on “Marigold”, and a few moments later it’s like Sotelo is applying an ice pack to the injury when he sails into falsetto after a sweeping chorus. Dropping such a highlight in the middle of the setlist was a smart move by a very smart band.

Back to Hail Stan with “It’s Only Smiles”, one of the quieter tracks on the album, and one that features a great deal of programming and quietude. The bass-bomb of “Psycosphere” is next, the angular guitar lines like icing on a cake of heavy percussion. Sotelo again shines, screaming and exhorting the crowd to participate as he growls the charming “Kill them slow” chorus. Whatever respite “It’s Only Smiles” and “Psychosphere” provides is annihilated by the sheer terrifying force of “Blood Eagle”. A late-set highlight, especially when a screaming Sotelo admonishes the crowd with “That’s fuckin pitiful!” after calling for screams. Anyone who wants to see a “blood eagle” in all it’s hideous glory should check out the Ari Aster film Midsommar, released the same year as Hail Stan.

After three minutes of begging from the crowd, and more good-natured abuse from Sotelo, Periphery returns to close the set with “Lune”, the crowd chorus at the end a fitting and wistful finish and thankful reminder of a better time when fans could actually leave their homes and stand shoulder to shoulder with other human beings to watch and hear a great show.


  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

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