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Periphery – Clear – 8.5/10

– Actually kind of surprising that a 30 minute Periphery album could make it up this high. Periphery made it clear that this is not a full length album or an Extended Play (EP). This is an experiment. Each member of the band got to write and record their own song, while using the talents of the other members to make it happen. The album starts with a 2 minute overture which contains snippets of melodies that will be heard later on the album, and it is executed perfectly. The first song is Jake’s song, which has some melodies that remind me of Coheed and Cambria. Very upbeat and poppy, while still containing Periphery’s signature style in the guitars and drums. Next is Matt’s song, which has a soulful vocal performance by Spencer, as well as a harder and darker tone than the first one. It also contains the first growls of the album. Misha’s song was the first song that didn’t surprise me. It is instrumental, and sounds very much like Animals As Leaders without the insane soloing or jazzy parts. Spencer’s song is probably my favorite song on the album. It sounds very much like Nine Inch Nails, with more diversity coming from the vocals, with a chorus that is impossible to not sing along with. Nolly’s song wasn’t a surprise either, being mostly instrumental and more focused on breakdowns than the technicality of Misha’s. It is very heavy. Both instrumentals provide great flow between the very catchy songs on this album, and make it a journey that finally ends with Mark’s song, which is a wonderful choice for closer. It is full of great hooks and feels like it would belong perfectly on Periphery II, making it the only song that feels like what they have already done. This diversity makes this entire album an experience from start to finish, and shows that Periphery can continue to impress me even after the progress they made between their first two albums. This makes me even that much more excited for the release of their double album in 2015.