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Periphery & Crossfaith Live @ The Espy, Melbourne, Australia

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If you happened upon the Esplanade Hotel tonight you would have witnessed a lengthy queue comprised of every type of fan. From the basketball top donning metal-core fan, to the staunchest metal-head, to the biggest nerd, to even the most casually dressed of folk. Periphery’s reach alone should be enough reason to give them some credit.

While not seeing a great deal of Crossfaith t-shirts around, the Gershwin Room was packed early on and very receptive when the Japanese metal-core band hit the stage with an industrialized version of Strauss’ “Also sprach Zarathustra” (which you might know as that opening music from 2001: A Space Odyssey). It then became apparent why the two bands were paired together for this Sidewave, as Crossfaith also employed Electronica elements in their compositions. The glaring difference being that this band could be described as equal parts Pendulum and Parkway Drive, whereas Periphery’s use of synths is merely complementary.

It seemed at times they would lose the crowd whenever the music tipped too far into the realms of trance, but their unrelenting energy was nothing short of jaw dropping and resulted in multiple circle pits and walls of death from the word go. At times the overbearing synths would cause the mix to be washy, robbing the guitars of their punch and the crowd response could be gauged in relation to this. However their brand of electro-metal-core-by-numbers was enough to keep the attendance energized, despite the occasional reluctant crowd participation. Their reception upon finishing sounded more like “Well done” as opposed to “Thanks for finishing”.

After Crossfaith departed, in contrastingly un-rock star like fashion, Periphery’s Misha Mansoor could be seen wandering the stage with his beer, casually checking his own equipment and chatting with fans. Read any track listing from them and you’ll see this is typical of their attitude towards not taking themselves too seriously.

It would be unfair to expect Periphery to live up to the incomparable energy of Crossfaith given the absurdly technical nature of Periphery’s music, but that didn’t mean they were statues either. Their presence varied from neatly synced head-bangs, to just plain goofing around and understandable moments of focus where required. The bulk of the on stage energy was carried by front-man Spencer Sotelo. The aftermath of Periphery’s previous tour resulted in reports of English Djent’ers Tesseract ‘wiping the floor with Periphery’, largely in part due to Sotelo’s poor vocal performance (apparently due to bronchitis). Despite the large amounts of talent in the band, Sotelo would have to be a highlight this time. His metal growls were executed powerfully and belting melodies in songs such as ‘Facepalm Mute’ and ‘Ragnarok’ were nailed effortlessly and without falter (apart from a slip up in ‘Icarus Lives’ which was promptly laughed off by Sotelo). Someone’s been practicing. Once again, the more densely layered songs suffered in the mix but not to the point where the overall show lacked as a result, the band’s hyper-produced material was replicated faithfully, barring the classy Red Hot Chili Peppers insert during the ‘Make Total Destroy’ bridge.

It was hard to tell if everyone was worn out towards the end, or just stunned after a performance of the fifteen-minute epic ‘Race Car’ as their encore, but once they finished, the reaction said it all. Two wonderfully executed performances by two world-class bands.

Photos by SILK Imagery

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