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Periphery III Select DifficultyPeriphery has been tearing up the progressive metal scene this decade.  They’ve already released four studio albums (one being a double) and two EPs within six years.  Periphery III: Select Difficulty is the most recent addition to the band’s expanding discography and it doesn’t disappoint.

The record starts off heavy with The Price Is Wrong and Motormouth.  Both songs are energetic and aggressive with only one clean verse to be heard at the end of Motormouth.  Periphery then eases into its usual mixture of screams and clean vocals with Marigold.

Despite how many releases Periphery’s produced in such a short amount of time, their sound still sounds fresh.  While that’s kind of the point of progressive metal, a lot of credit can be attributed to the album’s flow.  Just when the music starts to approach tedium, Periphery switches gears from heavy to beautiful and back again as needed.  This all happens from track to track as well as the midst of each song.

The instruments are also a pure joy to listen to.  The guitars, drums and bass are composed wonderfully and create fantastic music when combined.  The music keeps you on your toes, especially when they introduce piano in Habitual Line Stepper, orchestral moments in Absolomb (a song that also starts off with a sick bass line) or electronic portions in Remain Indoors.

With all that praise out of the way, it’s not a perfect record.  The Price Is Wrong is forgettable when compared to the rest of the tracklist.  Periphery III also doesn’t have many standout songs.  They’re all good, but not many choruses stand out apart from Catch Fire and The Way The News Goes…  This means songs can blend into each other, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing depending on your musical preferences.

Periphery III: Select Difficulty is a fantastic album. It’s as much of a journey as it is music.  The record takes everything the band has learned during their past six years and makes one of the most standout records they’ve made so far.  It sets a new standard for Periphery’s future work.  If progressive music is your cup of tea, you’ll be right at home.

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