The most noticeably aspect of Periphery's debut self-titled is just how clean it sounds, every instrument is crystal clear and immaculately played by what are obviously six highly talented musicians; every imperfection has been bleached out, along with any heart or soul the record may have had. The technicality of the music is undoubtedly astounding, the furiously fast rhythms rivalling any of the progressive metal heavyweights like Meshuggah and Dream Theater from whom the band takes their cues; unfortunately they have missed out the vital element of infusing the album with anything other than a machine-like mentality, leaving the listener feeling cold and impassioned.
But it is Dillinger Escape Plan that Periphery sound most like, albeit a touch more melodic and a smidge less manic than their idols, resulting at least in a better album than the woeful offering served up by DEP earlier this year. There is no getting away from the fact we have heard this all before, and the variety inside is very much absent, one song blending into another until you no longer register that its even playing. This is exemplified in the mind-numbing fourteen minutes of closer 'Racecar', where not even a fine Jeff Loomis (of Nevermore fame) solo can make this anything other than painfully dull. And the eccentric electro breaks that occasionally pop up are slightly baffling, serving only to highlight the monotony that constitutes the majority of the record.
There are a couple of moments of real class buried away in here, not least of which is deserved lead single 'Icarus Lives!' with its pulsating riffs and an excellent dual vocal performance by Spencer Sotelo; although the track is rather marred by the unnecessary band introduction at the end that will probably have teenagers lol'ing, but is really rather puerile.