Periphery Metro Theatre Sydney, AUS February 3, 2017
“Periphery” denotes the external boundary of a body.
If the body in question is modern and progressive metal, the name of the band would be quite inadequate.
With their signature triple-guitar attack, which lends their oeuvre a particular rhythmic dexterity, mathematical cacophony and complex grooves, Periphery’s intertwined conceptual albums provide a solid canon of modern metal.
With their distinctive high-gain fuelled by extensive use of overdrive pedals, virtuoso soloing, distorted, palm-muted, low-pitch guitar sound, Periphery have become one of the spearheads of what has become known as the djent niche, named for an onomatopoeia of the sound that was coined by bands like Meshuggah and SikTh.
The palpable sense of excitement and anticipation of the sold out crowd spoke volumes for the band’s status in the modern metal scene: As soon as the band hit the stage, they were welcomed with open arms and received enthusiastically.
The band reciprocated with delivering a set list spiked with crowd pleasers and fan favourites, which elicited crowd reactions running the gamut from heartfelt singalongs to testosterone driven circle pitting.
Even if you are not at home in the land of progressive metal, it proves difficult to not be impressed by Periphery’s craft of technically astute musicianship blending crushing and aggressive parts with more quiet moments, which highlights the band’s attention to detail. With the recent emission on the album front tapping into the heritage of classic rock bands, e.g. The Who and Pink Floyd, it adds yet another layer to the experience that is Periphery live: An entertaining mélange of heaviness and melodic components emphasized by Spencer Sotelo’s stage presence, audience engagement and varied vocal range, seamlessly transitioning from guttural growls to clean singing.
Seeing the band being in the moment and passionate about the act of performing only adds to the spectacle that Periphery in a live environment has become.
photos by T