Juggernaut: Omega review by Periphery

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  • Released: Jan 27, 2015
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (66 votes)
Periphery: Juggernaut: Omega
3

Sound — 9
Periphery began as a solo recording project by multi-instrumentalist, Misha Mansoor, who initially shared his music online on sevenstring.org and other forums. This eventually led to a good deal of success, and resulted in Misha recruiting a full band to back him. While the lineup was initially very shaky, it has stayed fairly stable since the band's first release in 2010. Since that time only Mark Holcomb and Nolly Getgood have been added. Misha Mansoor is, of course, the only remaining founding member. "Juggernaut: Omega" is the second half of their third album, which is a double album (first is "Juggernaut: Alpha"). There are 7 tracks included on the album with a runtime of approximately 39 minutes. 

The album opens up with "Reprise," which is a little less than a minute and a half and seems to set the mood for the second half of the album more than anything else. "The Bad Thing" is immediately my favorite track from "Juggernaut: Omega," because I enjoy it musically as well as how it uses both the clean and screamed vocals. I especially like the solo on this track. "Priestess" has an acoustic intro that is a slight change of pace for Periphery, and is probably one of their more "accessible" tracks I've heard before, especially for people new to the genre. There are still some heavy portions on the song, but not like the rest of the album. This is another track with a good solo. "Graveless" seems like it is trying to make up for the relatively calmer track, "Priestess," by being especially heavy. The vocals are screamed and intense even during the clean passages, with the backup vocals being growled screams. The second half of "Graveless," like some of the other tracks on this album, has passages that have strong electronic elements. "Hell Below" opens up pretty heavy, with "djent" style guitar going strong and intense screamed vocals. "Omega" is by far the longest track on the album, clocking in at just under 12 minutes, and opening with a piano intro. It quickly moves to heavy guitars and sounds more like what you would expect from Periphery. This is another track where the guitar solo does a lot to stand out to me. It has an almost Gilmour-ish vibe to it. "Juggernaut: Omega" closes out with "Stranger Things," which opens up as kind of psychedelic, and has a cool combination of clean vocals with heavy music. This is probably the track where Spencer Sotelo's clean vocals won me over. I was into the track by the time the screamed vocals came in.

Lyrics — 9
Spencer Sotelo is one of my favorite vocalists of the genre, with both a good screaming and clean voice. Mark Holcomb provides backing vocals. Pretty much everything I said about the vocals and lyrics from the review of "Juggernaut: Alpha" would remain true here, but I think I like the clean vocals a little more on this one, or else they've grown on me.

Here are some lyrics from my favorite track on the album, "The Bad Thing": "Sometimes there's a crack in the world that I can peer through/ And see it for what it really is/ There's an ugly face staring back at demons of everyone/ They draw the hatred from inside of me/ There were times at the top of the Earth that I wish that I could throw/ Everyone and everything/ Watch surrounding symphonies of the hypocrites/ Abating in the thought of it/ Severed dreams of all the weak - quenching thirst inside of me/ And the scream it holds the key - unlocking this for all to see/ Fly past the trees, ascend to holy air and breathe/ Far from the leaves, transcend these earthly boundaries/ Fly past the trees, ascend to holy air and breathe/ Far from the leaves, transcend the f--king boundaries/ And is it this desire that you're looking for/ Or is insanity is knocking at your door/ And give me just a peace and surely you will find/ Everything is better on the other side/ But can you look within and find what is in store/ This life is but a scream that has become your whore/ It's tearing a hole inside, you'll bury your life."

Overall Impression — 9
I've been thinking about which half of the double album I prefer, and I can't decide - when I listen to "Omega," I feel like that is my favorite half, but when I listen to "Alpha," then I feel like that is my favorite half. My favorite song from "Juggernaut: Omega" would be "The Bad Thing," but I enjoyed the rest of the album quite a bit - especially "Priestess" and "Stranger Things." I didn't dislike any songs on the album, and as a whole the "Juggernaut" double album is a strong release. As one of the first bands to make "djent" popular, they do a great job of not sounding cliché or stereotypical to the genre. I can't wait to hear more from Periphery in the future.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Sebnam
    Little note: Mark Holcomb doesn't do backing vocals, Jake does them live, and Spencer did them on the album.
    RaiviK
    I love both parts of Juggernaut, and Omega is amazing. All tracks are very atmospheric and even more "heavier" if you can say so. Track Omega kinda gave me neatly the same feel that i had while listening to the Racecar (from their debut album). Outstanding track. Only thing here, maybe I would like to hear more awesome fillers like in "Alpha" even in this part of the album. Have nothing more to say. Amazing work by Periphery, not just Misha like it always was before! Spencer's vocals are getting better every new album. Hope that finally Misha gonna have time to release that god damn solo album.)
    ZackGarvey94
    I had never heard of Periphery until I saw the Alpha review and randomly clicking on the article and giving them a listen is the best thing I will do this year.
    LightxGrenade
    I enjoy Omega as a whole more than Alpha but both have plenty of tracks that are really good. I don't think it's as heavy as their earlier stuff but I feel that each song has so much more variety. But even though each song is more varied, they seem more "cohesive" I guess is the word?
    I_Fij
    Still not sure why Periphery suddenly decided to mix Spencer so far in the front. the bread and butter of that band has *always* been the guitar work and suddenly focusing on the vocals is... an interesting move
    RaiviK
    Well, all the previous Periphery material comes from Misha's demos. Later the vocals were added to the mix. This albums is the first one, where Misha wasn't doing everything, but whole band were worked together. And Spencer did amazing job, guitars are heavy, drums are brutal and bass sound is unbelievable. Mix of all above gives a WOMBO-COMBO!
    \m/(-_-)\m/
    Periphery II was written as a band as well, minus a few that were already old songs from Misha.
    maximumrocker
    These two albums are the ones that turned me to be a fan of these guys. Love Omega. Graveless is my favorite track. That breakdown is just brutal!
    TheInserter
    Juggernaut isn't as technical and complex as Periph's earlier releases. It is definitely a step in a different direction. Sounds great though. loving alpha and omega.
    vppark2
    Alpha had more wow moments for me, but this isnt bad by any means. I think Ive grown out of this band tbh tho.
    zillaeffect
    alpha just makes me smile everytime I hear it. this band just keeps getting better
    ZackGarvey94
    I had never heard of Periphery until I saw the Alpha review and randomly clicking on the article and giving them a listen is the best thing I will do this year.
    Jyeul
    go listen to Periphery II: This times it's personnal, its awesome as well, songs like ragnarok, facepalm mute, make total destroy
    ZackGarvey94
    I will do. I am really looking forward to listening to the band's previous 2(?) albums!
    RaiviK
    - Mansoor's Demos - Periphery (have instrumental version as well) - Icarus EP + single "Messenger" - Periphery II - Clear EP (Experiment) I hope you gonna enjoy m8! <3
    m4ss3 m/
    For me the album was a huge disappointment considering that PII is probably my all-time favorite album.
    Vandekill
    I didn't listen this album but I gave a 1... Shitty stuff here... I feel sad for people who actually like that :/
    driftman
    If you didn't listen to the album why would you say it's shitty/even vote on it at all
    JSmith38
    because he is lonely. being 38 years old, living in your parents basement and never having known the love of a woman will do that.
    Shavyi
    I'm finishing my finals tomorrow at 11am, buying and listening to that record is the first thing I'll be doing after.
    MikeBTE
    I can't help but listen to their new stuff but oh man I would love it so much more as an instrumental or a better singer. I can't seem to get over the fruityness of this guys vocals.
    Alkalilee
    Sadly gonna have to disagree and say that this is exactly what "Djent cliches" are. The only band that I've currently accepted as exceptional in the whole "7-string" genre is The Contortionist. They do some deep atmospheric stuff, especially on Language. This sounds like another moshpit soundrack designed for live shows rather than musical creativity.
    FattyOfThePhat
    IMO i really haven't enjoyed this album don't really care how he sings the songs hes got a good voice just doesn't fit with the music they are playing the band will play fast heavy riffs and he'll sing slow and clean that's just my opinion