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Periphery: Progs Of War

What do you do when you’re on the cusp of a mainstream metal breakthrough? If you’re Periphery, you make a two-disc concept prog epic. Obviously.

A new year brings a lot of speculation about which young bands are most likely to make the next big step up the hazardous stairway to commercial glory. As standard-bearers for an increasingly populous tech-metal scene and undisputed pioneers of that polarising, post-Meshuggah and proudly polyrhythmic phenomenon known as djent, Periphery may not be the most obvious contenders for massive success, but their prominence and popularity are hard to deny.

The Americans spent much of 2014 beavering feverishly away in their own studios, preparing their third full-length studio album: a record that, common sense would seem to dictate, will either propel them to the next level or condemn them to eternal cult status. Most bands in this position might be inclined to keep things simple and focus on short, sharp songs designed to forge an immediate connection with an expectant audience.

But this is Misha Mansoor’s Periphery: a band with progressive ideals and an adventurous mindset, and so it will come as no surprise to keen observers that the new record is a mind-bendingly extravagant double-concept album, its respective parts titled Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega. Great news for fans of prog and futuristic metal derring-do, of course, but it’s difficult to imagine Periphery’s management or record label being particularly delighted with the prospect of peddling such a complex magnum opus to a mainstream metal audience...

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