Under The Influence #15: Core System on “Periphery 3: Select Difficulty” by Periphery!
One album that has evaded our review radar over the past couple of years has been “III: Select Difficulty Level” by Periphery. We say evaded – we should have reviewed it, it’s a 9/10 album in our eyes, one which took us to the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, London to see them with Destrage and The Contortionist when they played the tour around it. Taking the iconic Preditor dot trio from the alien soldiers shoulder mounted laser cannon in its cover art it’s actually the fifth album from the Washington DC based Progressive Metalcore DJentlemen. Not only is it their last for Sumerian Records but also the last to feature bassist Adam “Nolly” Getgood as an official member of the band rather than the collaborator he is now. Incidentally he did play at the London show in a rare live appearance on that tour, having sat out for personal reasons with the band opting to use a backing track of his recordings rather than hiring someone to fill in. “The Price Is Wrong” was also nominated for Best Metal Performance in the 59th Annual Grammy Awards…
Core System comment: “Given that there are so many different styles presented on our new album “Contrast”, we have many different influences, everything from the brutal riffs of Meshuggah to the mellow vocal melodies of AgentFresco.
But it’s safe to say that one of the biggest influences all-around has been Periphery’s “Periphery 3: Select Difficulty” – partly because it was a reference mix for all of our songs from the album, but mostly because of their ability to push the boundaries of metal production. At the time of finishing the record they released a new record “HAIL STAN” which is even closer to the goal we were trying to achieve with our record. Since we are mostly a DIY band (which they are too), meaning that we write, record, mix and master our songs, we feel they share a similar passion of doing things their own way.
Their vocalist (Spencer Sotelo) inspired some of the layered vocal harmonies (from songs like Marigold, Lune) for the chorus of “My Friend with Love” and “Half Empty Man”, and with the guitar/bass combo throughout the whole album we tried to achieve the sound of a one instrument playing everything from super low frequencies up to the growly distorted midrange, much like they do. The drum sound (particularly the snare drum) is also inspired by the work of Matt Halpern and Adam “Nolly” Getgood. But it’s not just the production elements, it’s also the structure of the songs and the emotions carried with the dynamics of the songs. For example, the guitar solo in the middle of “Entropy” was recorded trying to emulate Mark Holcomb’s style of soloing, just because the underlying rythmic riff sounds like it needs a Mark Holcomb solo.
The whole of “Contrast” has elements which could lead back to this album, even though it’s musically very different, we feel the sonic atmosphere of “Contrast” resembles that of “Periphery 3: Select Difficulty”.”