Juggernaut: Omega (CD/DVD)

"Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.

Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.

And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).

Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.

Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • Long out of print second album originally released in 1979. This new edition by ProgQuebec features two live bonus tracks as well as photos and detailed liner notes. For their second effort the band is pared down to a quartet featuring Bernard Cormier (violin), Andre Duchsne (guitars), Jacques Laurin (bass), and Rene Lussier (guitars). Most of the music was used as soundtrack music. Although the lineup is simpler the music is still extremely complex.
    $18.00
  • Long overdue reissue of the two albums from the French-Canadian duo of Vincent Dionne and Michel-Georges Bregent. When you look at the instrumentation of keyboards and percussion you expect some bombastic ELP-type extravaganza. The reality is that the duo had more experimental leanings, moving into the direction of electronic music like early Tangerine Dream. The first album "Et Le Troisieme Jour" finds the duo accompanied by choirs and solo soprano vocalist. The music is like a wall of sound with a variety of tuned percussion and drum kit integrated with Moogs, orchestron (like a Mellotron), Fender Rhodes, and organ. The sidelong "L'Eveil Du Lieu" has a dark quality that could almost pass for a horror soundtrack. The band's second album was called (appropriately) "Deux". It was recorded in 1977. Bregent again uses a variety of keys, this time incorporating Mellotron into his arsenal. Dionne's drumming has more of a propulsive rock feel. Accompanied by strings and horns it has a more balanced, fuller soundscape. I ultimately find it to be the more successful of the two albums. This gorgeous set features two unreleased tracks as well as a detailed booklet with photos and a band bio (in French). One of the best reissues that we will see in 2006. Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • "Accept's creative breakthrough, 1983's Restless and Wild, begins with one of the most unexpected, surprising, and hilarious mock intros ever recorded. Untold thousands no doubt furrowed their brows in confusion at the perky German folk song emanating from their speakers, only to be rudely interrupted by a scratching needle and Udo Dirkschneider's incomparable shriek, as the band launch themselves into the stunning violence of "Fast as a Shark." Not just a thrilling, light-speed juggernaut, the song was probably the last thrash metal prototype waxed in the pre-thrash era (officially inaugurated by Metallica's Kill 'Em All a few months later). Though nowhere near as frenetic, the title track and "Ahead of the Pack" are just as fierce, and despite a sudden stumble with the mediocre "Shake Your Heads" (an overtly cheesy, Judas Priest-style metal anthem, and the album's only stinker), the dramatic "Neon Nights" ends side one on the upswing once again. As for the album's second half, it's pretty much beyond reproach. Introduced by the solid "Get Ready" (another nod to Priest with its "Living After Midnight"-inspired drum intro), it builds from strength to strength with increasingly mature and melodic (though lyrically obscure) tracks such as "Flash Rockin' Man," "Don't Go Stealing My Soul Away," and the colossal "Princess of the Dawn." The latter closes the album as it began, in unexpected fashion, when its extended outro is abruptly interrupted mid-verse. The bottom line here is that this, like its successor Balls to the Wall, is an essential heavy metal album, and any fan worth his salt should own them both. But for the sake of first-time visitors, Restless and Wild is the slightly grittier, less melodic of the two. Whichever you chose, you can only win." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • “Diablo Swing Orchestra could be Tim Burton’s dream band” – Outburn“Diablo Swing Orchestra are a Swedish band straight out of a Tom Waits nightmare. They sound exactly like their name suggests, making dirty, raucous swing, updated with some punky power chords, but the operatic Swedish vocals and nearly death-metal growls separate the band from the swing revivalists of the late ’90s. Definitely not the kind of band one would expect coming out of a Scandinavian country. But hell, there’s no rule that says creepers and fuzzy dice don’t go well with Viking helmets.” – Lost At E MinorThe music of Sweden’s Diablo Swing Orchestra is unlike any other group on the planet. Their music is an eclectic mash up of metal, opera, swing jazz, tango, and spaghetti western soundtrack. DSO is fronted by the glass shattering voice of Annelouice Wolgers, a metal queen at night but an actual opera singer by day.The band’s third album, Pandora’s Pinata, finds the band expanded into an 8 piece lineup with the permanent addition of two horn players. The new album is a smörgåsbord of different levels of musical insanity building on the foundation laid down on their previous album, Sing Along Songs For The Damned And Delerious.
    $13.00
  • "Drummer Ian Wallace (King Crimson, Jackson Brown, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt) is joined by Jody Nardone and Tim Landers, and special guest Mel Collins, on this masterful interpretation of Crimson classics which is sure to please King Crimson fans and jazz aficionados alike. Volume Two takes the CJ3 a step further in its interpretations of the King Crimson catalog.These songs represent the final recordings in this life by the extraordinary drummer Ian Wallace. They represent the culmination of a lifelong dream and years of study, devotion, hard work and passion for the drums. They honor his past and his love of the music made with, and made by, his brothers in King Crimson. They celebrate his love of jazz. They are a beautiful swan song from an incredible musician.Volume Two is a slight departure from CJ3's first release, finding the trio taking more liberties with the material. The listener will hear more experimentation in the playing as well as the arrangements. The recording features ex-Crimson saxophonist Mel Collins on two pieces and finds Jody Nardone lending his vocals to a track. Like Volume One, Volume Two is, as it was intended, more experiment than a tribute album. It stands alone as a beautiful, and perfectly performed jazz album, as well as a medium to experience Crimson in music's most improvisational art form."
    $15.00
  • "Most progressive music fans will recognize guitarist John Wesley from his work as touring member with Porcupine Tree over the last several albums. Yet, Wesley also has an extensive solo collection as well, and he expands it with his sixth album, Disconnect.The album is defined by one singular element, Wesley's guitar playing. Disconnect is definitely a guitar driven prog record. His playing evokes the styles of David Gilmour, Alex Lifeson, Steve Wilson, and maybe even some Jeff Beck. (Lifeson guests on Once A Warrior.) Wesley's sound on many songs is generally sharp and high-pitched as with Once A Warrior, sometimes sounding psychedelic as within Disconnect, and then kinetic, yet muted, within Take What You Need.There's a lot of weight to many songs as well, definitely tipping the album towards progressive metal. When a song does appear to be somewhat lighter at the start, like Gets You Everytime or Mary Will, Wesley jumps in with those slashing guitar licks to slice your ears into tiny little pieces, like stir fry vegetables. If there is a drawback to the album at all, it's that the slashing sharpness of the guitar is pervasive and can get more than a little shrill at times. But there are some lighter pieces here, namely Window and more so Satellite, where Wesley dials up some acoustic guitar in the mix.Briefly, the other significant element here is Wesley's vocals. He has a great melodic voice, emotive and passionate at times, and definitely pleasing. With guitar in hand, a strong voice, and creative compositions, John Wesley has delivered another fine album with Disconnect. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog.com
    $10.00
  • "Centric Jones is Chris Fournier and Tobe London, augmented by an eclectic set of revolving musical guests. Chris plays bass, guitars, keyboards, and electronic percussion and Tobe plays drums, acoustic/electronic percussion,and keyboards. They met in 2007 and discovered a shared goal: they both wanted to create songs that broke through musical boundaries without sacrificing feel and an emotional connection to their audience. And, they had the ability to excel at doing this. A few years later in 2009, after many hours of practice and composition, they released their Foreign Tea CD. Centric Jones continued to build up the emotional appeal and complexity of their music both rythmically and melodically following that first album, culminating in the up-coming release of their new CD, The Antikythera Method, on Prog Rock Records. With both Tobe and Chris being involved in various bands since the late 1970s, Centric Jones is able to stand apart from much of the musical pack today by merging their mature musical senses with the drive to create ever-more-expansive sonic imagery."
    $3.00
  • "“Where Dreams Are Forgotten” is the sixth album by Swedish power metal quartet “AXENSTAR” and is their first to be released under “Inner Wound Recordings”.Power metal is one of my favourite metal genres; I love the energy, the melodies, the vocals, everything about power metal never fails to get me pumped up, and that’s exactly what AXENSTAR achieve from the very start of this album, “Fear” opens up “Where Dreams Are Forgotten” with speed and intensity, and sets the attitude for the album perfectly. What I love about this album is the diversity; frequently you will hear that signature power metal sound of harmonised guitar melodies and pretty ‘cheesy’ choruses, whilst surrounding all of the typical ‘happy’ sounding power metal genius, you also gets tastes of darker and moodier music, and AXENSTAR seem to blend the two attitudes well without causing too much musical conflict and confusion within a song.“Inside The Maze” kicks off with a very catchy melody which slightly makes me think of bands like “HELLOWEEN” or “EDGUY”, this is a great song with a moody verse and a typical catchy power metal chorus along with some great riffing from Joakim and Jens. “My Sacrifice” is next and is one of the highlights of this album. It starts off with possibly my favourite riff on this album, when the drums come in under this main riff you cannot help but bang your head to its galloping aggressiveness! Some of the lead work in this song is pretty amazing too!I love when a power metal band like AXENSTAR can showcase a lot of aggression along with that signature power metal ‘cheese’; It gives an album and/or band a lot more personality with the type of diversity shown here on “Where Dreams Are Forgotten”. I feel as if this album can easily reach my top 10 power metal releases this year; it is a brilliant well structured, well written, well recorded work of art and I urge you to not let this go without your attention, buy it and support AXENSTAR. I’m already eager to see what these guys do next." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • "When they first emerged in 1994, San Francisco metalheads Machine Head appeared poised (along with the then-unstoppable Pantera) to lead the cause of American metal, proudly and purposefully, through the second half of that grim, grim, alternative rock-dominated decade. But, much to their fans' dismay, the band's masterful debut would soon give way to undercooked repetition on their sophomore effort and then, horror of horrors, a grueling descent into nu-metal sellout with their third, before finally crash landing to an uninspired nadir with their fourth. Within the span of seven short years, Machine Head's proverbial cup had gone from brimming to empty, their few remaining believers understandably holding out little hope for any sort of redemption. But against all odds, just when the jig seemed to be most certainly up, all of these missteps were summarily erased by the group's stunning fifth album, Through the Ashes of Empires, which saw them rediscovering their roots while reuniting bandleader Robb Flynn with his original Vio-Lence six-string partner in crime, Phil Demmel. Coincidentally or not, the results marked a return to form in no uncertain terms, with colossal first track "Imperium" single-handedly eclipsing the previous two and a half albums, while simultaneously recapturing the dark majesty and crushing authority of early Machine Head triumphs like "Davidian" and "Ten Ton Hammer." The same was true, to a slightly lesser extent, about ensuing headbangers "Bite the Bullet," "Left Unfinished," and the epic "In the Presence of My Enemies," which collectively showed what could happen when a great band actually follows its instincts instead of half-heartedly following trends. Not that Machine Head came back from their "lost weekend" completely empty-handed, as incrementally melodic and emotive material such as "Elegy" and "Days Turn Blue to Gray" successfully reenvisioned (and authenticated) a few elements of those failed experiments through the prism of the band's own sensibilities -- not Korn's or Limp Bizkit's. (In fact, only the rhythmically chugging "All Falls Down" was guilty of a complete and sorry relapse into nu-metal's intolerable whining.) And with the rousing final number, "Descend the Shades of Night," Machine Head delivered yet another monolithic highlight, as steeped in their glorious past as it was promising of the future." - Allmusic Guide
    $9.00
  • 24 bit remastered reissue of the band's debut EP with an exceptional bonus - a live concert from Tokyo in 1984, which was only available as a laserdisc and has been long out of print. Extensive liner notes and photos. Budget price but not budget packaging.
    $10.00
  • CD/DVD digipak version.  The DVD contains a "making of" documentary."It feels like it’s been longer than two years since Lacuna Coil’s last release, Dark Adrenaline, but where that album fell a little short, Broken Crown Halo feels like a true return to form for the band and this is perhaps one of the band’s strongest releases to date.Broken Crown Halo begins with Nothing Stands In Our Way, which slowly builds up into an absolute earworm of a tune and it’s no wonder that this was the track chosen to represent the album because it just has everything – fantastic vocal performances from both singers with a small hint of heaviness amongst the melody, and this wonderful heavy tone to the guitars atop of crushing drums.It’s not just the opener that will get stuck in your head however; with this album it really does feel that Lacuna Coil have crafted a whole collection of wholly memorable tracks. There’s Zombie, which features one of the best vocal performances from Andrea to date, with him seamlessly blending harsh and clean vocals together, and then there’s Die And Rise which begins with an introduction so catchy it’ll be stuck in your head for days. In all honesty, there isn’t a single track on the album that stands out as being bad.In essence, Broken Crown Halo is an exceedingly strong release from the band. It’s adventurous and fresh, whilst still retaining the classic Lacuna Coil ‘sound’ – and it’s excellent." - Soundscape
    $6.00
  • "The Royal Scam is the first Steely Dan record that doesn't exhibit significant musical progress from its predecessor, but that doesn't mean the album is any less interesting. The cynicism that was suppressed on Katy Lied comes roaring to the surface on The Royal Scam -- not only are the lyrics bitter and snide, but the music is terse, broken, and weary. Not so coincidentally, the album is comprised of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's weakest set of songs since Can't Buy a Thrill. Alternating between mean-spirited bluesy vamps like "Green Earrings" and "The Fez" and jazzy soft rock numbers like "The Caves of Altamira," there's nothing particularly bad on the album, yet there are fewer standouts than before. Nevertheless, the best songs on The Royal Scam, like the sneering "Kid Charlemagne" and "Sign in Stranger," rank as genuine Steely Dan classics." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • Great double live album available at a budget price.
    $11.00