‘Clear’-ly Experimental in the Periphery

Modern Progressive metal band from Americas new EP ‘Clear’ Review. 

The famous band playing heavy metal from the future, Periphery came out with a new EP called ‘Clear’. This is the latest from the band a year and half after their last album ‘Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal’. After a leak online led Sumerian Records to release it on their YouTube channel two weeks before the release date. The project is separate from their third album ‘Juggernaut’, rumoured to be released later this year. Clear is created across a unique concept where six of the seven tracks were assigned to each band member who would be the ‘creative director’ for their song.

periphery2013The band always wrote their material as a group, led by Misha. Over the length of the EP, Periphery covered everything that they’re known for, from the ambient sounds, theatrical melodies, ‘Djent’ guitar tones and Sotelo’s alternative rock vocal lines. Yet, Clear is not the usual Periphery.

The theme of every track in the EP is set in by the opening song, ‘Overture’. It sets the dramatic and theatrical theme for the next 30 odd minutes to come. Thus, you will see steady similarities and differences in most tracks. The song that stood out the most was ‘Parade of Ashes’ by Spencer, who literally took the chance to go out of the box and do something unusual. The track begins with an industrial feel and uses heavy synthesisers seemingly inspired by Trent Reznor and the old Fall Out Boys. Sotelo on this track went for a more Alternative Rock sound and used a repeating chorus, contrasting usual Periphery. This was very unlike Misha’s instrumental ‘Zero’, which is the most technical track and sounded like any other Periphery song in terms of the tone, the sound or the style. This led me wondering if it was to remind us the band’s traditional sound while in his lead or his refusal to work on something different.

Other tracks making a great impact are ‘Feed The Ground’ and ‘Pale Aura’ by Matt and Mark respectively. Both tracks have brilliant pianos and the kind of drumming you want from Periphery. ‘Feed The Ground’ which uses catchy vocal effects, breaks into a catchy chorus. The track has brilliant dynamics and will definitely be the best song to play live. ‘Pale Aura’ is loaded with melodies, funky riffs and very soulful vocals. The blast beats and theatrical piano makes it one of the best tracks.
‘Extraneous’ is the grooviest track and one would know in a flash that it was written by Nolly, listening to how well the bass lines lock in with the drums. However, it seems dragged in places. Jake played it safe with ‘Summer Jam’, which has a very upbeat feel to it.

BEAT_STREET-2_G_BE_1700712eOverall, the EP was interesting. The best part about it was the experimentation in the song structures by repeating verses and choruses, very unlike Periphery. Almost every track has a different vocal line with catchy choruses and various vocal ranges. However, the EP did not reach up to expectations built up after ‘Periphery II’ in terms of how much experimentation was expected. It would be ridiculous if the band had tracks with completely different sounds and influences. That would have led to us calling them inconsistent. However, there was still no reason for the band to play so safe at experimentation.

8eight8 Music Score: 6.5/10

Let’s hope for something totally ‘sensational’ next time they plan an experimental EP.

– Wild Child

12 thoughts on “‘Clear’-ly Experimental in the Periphery

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