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Periphery II: This Time It's Personal

4.5 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 3, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Peripherys much anticipated sophomore full length release shows a band that defies the boundaries of conventionality, ultimately blazing a trail of originality that will send shockwaves throughout the metal world. Founded in 2004 by guitarist, songwriter Misha Bulb Mansoor, Periphery seems to always be drawing from a constant stream of inspiration which is most apparent with this new offering.
The Album is a venerable rollercoaster of beauty, emotion, intensity and overall positive energy.
The must have metal opus of 2012 and a benchmark release for progressive music as a whole.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 3, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SUMERIAN RECORDS
  • ASIN: B0086460T2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
Despite all the hype and, conversely, all the criticism over the album, I really think the current members of Periphery delivered on an amazing follow-up to the first one, and it follows into logical conclusion what stylistic elements have been developed since their debut dropped. I loved and respected every new direction that the band decided to go, and I don't judge them for "Selling out" or incorporating more of what wasn't fully evident on their debut into what they want to explore musically. It's entirely their artistic prerogative, and I was never the kind of music listener who would expect artists do do things a certain way when I listen to a new album(and judge them if they didn't do it the way I wanted) anyway.

I'm only interested in watching them put themselves in context with their other music, (and other people's music comparable to it) and saying "This is where we decided to go with our sound." Metaphorically speaking. Isn't that how progressive music works? Always pushing the art form in different directions to come up with something different? People who expect too much of the same thing out of a band should just accept the fact that you can't write the exact same album twice.

However, If I must compare Periphery II to their first album, there were three things that I saw in the music that were surprising and exiting to see:
1. Amazing Production: If you thought their first album was sharp, then you'll be stunned how much better the guitars and the Pure-rifferey is. I mean, isn't that what put Periphery on the map the first time around? They've even made their riffs tighter and more percussive by slapping some guitar parts, and one song even goes into eight-string territory with tunings.
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Been a long-time follower of these guys, and you cannot imagine how happy I am to see that they've put two albums out now. This first was great, but this one somehow tops it. This is an absolutely beautiful album for those who love Periphery or for those in search of new, heavy, technical metal. Such beauties are the album's opening track "Muramasa", "Scarlet", "Ragnorok", and "Erised", to name a few. I seriously encourage the purchase of this album. They deserve every bit of contribution that you can give them.
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Periphery continues to evolve and improve - more melodic, clean vocals, more loops and sampling and electronica for those who appreciate the amalgam of metal and electronica, and somewhat more accessible lyrics (although these guys aren't going to water it down for the sake of selling records) ... all this, of course, without sacrificing the intensity and heaviness in the riffs and rhythms which made the debut so effective and enjoyable. The biggest difference is in the maturity of Spencer Sotelo's vocals which remain harsh at times yet he has expanded into clean vocals about 50% of the time now and then mixes in a few different timbres of screaming as well. Where the vocals seemed linear on the debut, now the dynamic contrast and range of vocal styles matches the expansive capability of the rest of the band. And on that note, the music is tighter than ever and some of the density "wall of sound" has been trimmed away to focus on space, contrast and dynamics. In doing all of these things the band has moved in a direction that sets them apart from their contemporaries.

The album is conceptual - each track blends one into the next. Often loops are falling at the end of a track, signaling more of a transition. While they sound cool, they don't feel like part of the song as much as they do a connecting piece. In other words, this isn't an album where you can pick out a song and listen to that one song on its own - it was meant to be listened to as one entire composition. Overall, there is an insane amount going here, perhaps a bit too much to digest at nearly 70 minutes. I doubt dedicated fans will mind though because II is more diverse than I, and with the degree of self-absorption required to really appreciate what is going on here that one hour passes by pretty quickly. Some may find the aggressive lyrics a bit distracting at times but this is metal after all.
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Here is the breakdown:
Vocals - Powerful screaming and powerful, high/clean vocals!
Guitars - Low tunings and awesome solos and syncopation
Drums - Insanely syncopated drum rhythms with fast runs and awesome fills!
Bass - powerful!!

Overall this CD really stands out from the rest of my collection and I have listened to it hundreds of times!
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I listened to this CD streaming on Youtube. Loved it. After I ordered it, it didn't ship, didn't ship, didn't ship... Finally 3 weeks later I received an email saying that it went out of stock while my order was processing. Strange! Only bad service I have ever had with Amazon. I am considering it an outlier, but do not let the service deter you from the product...this is an awesome album, by an incredibly talented band! I have seen them live twice, and they are outstanding performers, as well as recorders. Incidentally, I believe they self produce all their albums.
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It has been some time since I have heard an American album that incorporates ALL of the music I like into one album. There are hints of so many bands in this album that you can only call this display from Periphery "Original" in every way. They have hints of Soilwork, Meshuggah, In Flames, Korn (the old stuff), Deftones (the old stuff), Raunchy, Incubus (the old stuff), Animals as Leaders (they are amazing if you have not listened to these guys), etc... Their first album was good...but nowhere close to this one. The first album used tracks from the incredible Misha Mansoor as "Bulb" and found a singer to fill a spot that did not need to be filled...Misha, you should have done the album as an all instrumental and then started with Periphery as a separate entity...my opinion (and not that big of one). But this album sounds like a band...not a guitarist looking to find "the rest." Spencer is absolutely an amazing singer. The first album didn't showcase the skills this guy has. In this album he leads the band, and does it with angst, creativity, and uniqueness. Not taking anything away from Misha...the guy is an absolute genius; I listened to every single song from "Bulb" and still think that those are some of the best guitar riffs ever produced. For the longest time I thought "Zylgrox" was made on a computer...nope...it was Misha. Anyway, back to this album. Buy it. Give it a listen...and then try not to get addicted to the different angles produced by this group. They have a different sound...the radio won't play them (thank god...the radio sucks) because they don't sound like the rest of the crap that the majority of mindless teenagers plug into. But if you like metal, and a feeling of intensity followed by release...buy this album and enjoy. I love it. You will too.
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