By Taylor Dalton
Eureka! Periphery have done it again with their newest releases, Juggernaut: Alpha and Omega! Back again, this time with a concept album, they are once again ready to pull at your heartstrings with the immensely powerful backbeats and huge choruses they’ve trademarked themselves with.
The project brings the mood in easy with the first instrumental, A Black Minute, from Alpha. Production value is key here. Chilling melodies, phased drum renditions, 8-bit video game sound effects, and even a music box at end, this album has it all. Without hesitation, Periphery wastes no time in reminding you exactly what they came here to do. Alpha comes out swinging with MK Ultra, an extremely powerful, yet familiar tune. As guitars shred at the speed of light, lead singer Spencer comes in with an opening scream to break the ice. It’s go time.
Periphery has been known for a harder sound, but were not afraid to break out of the box, with jazz, swing, and even bluegrass inspirations heard throughout Alpha. Heavy Heart makes that obvious. Halfway through, the mood is brought down and you are once again reminded that even though every word is being violently screamed into your face, you can find some way to sing along. Spencer brings in his beautiful, tenor voice with the orchestral renditions and shows everyone that Periphery is not afraid to come at the listener from every angle. Alpha eases the listener out slowly, but isn’t ready to let them go yet.
The greater of two evils, Omega, gives the listeners to chance to gather their thoughts in the short intro Reprise, before slowly bringing in guitars, then bass guitar, and then a full fledged attack on the listener’s ears with The Bad Thing. This side of the project is much more aggressive and anger driven, with rarely a moment of silence. Periphery have no doubt found their signature sound this time around, coming out with hit singles 22 Faces and Psychosphere, incorporating familiar melodies to sing along to and powerful choruses, including a divebomb pinch harmonic from the guitar in harmony with Spencer’s note, a feat not accomplished by most.
Omega rages on throughout the whole 42 minute duration, most notably in Hell Below as the band brings back signature blast beats and odd time signatures, the most offputting being 14/8. The title track, Omega, begins with a piano rendition, slowly transforming to a synth, and finally breaking your sanity as the whole band drops in in perfect sync with more blast beats.
Alpha and Omega explore Periphery’s musical spectrum more than any other past release, while simultaneously being their most aggressive record to date. Omega slowly closes out with the same piano rendition that started the fire in the first place, fading out while glitching up the piano’s minor notes, distorting the listener’s perception heavily, leaving you in the end to gather your own conclusion from what just happened. It is truly a release to behold, and a ride you’ll be glad you went on.