The longing for getting sweaty together in a hot room watching bands we love with the scent of warm beer teasing our nostrils is getting harder and harder to keep at bay. We all miss seeing bands we love don’t we? With 2021 fast approaching and bringing vaccines to hopefully eradicate some virus we’ve heard a little about this year, the gatherings of black-clad metalheads may soon again share the same space without considering masks or some shitty 1.5-meter rule. As a quick fix, many bands have done live streams in order to placate the masses and satisfy that hole in our existence.
One of the pioneers and masters of djent, Washington’s Periphery have released the first live album of their fifteen-year career, simply titled Live In London. Captured in secret by the bands sound engineer on the last night of their 2019 sold-out show the album truly captures the band at a significant moment in their influential and brutal best. As stated by vocalist Spencer Sotelo himself recently in a HEAVY Mag interview not knowing the show was being recorded didn’t allow Periphery to be focused on the terrible notion of fucking up or “playing like shit!” that night and just simply crushing the audience with their undeniable magnificent songwriting best.
Opening with the fifteen-minute epic “Reptile” from last years sensational Periphery IV – Hail Stan, listeners know that this album isn’t going to disappoint. Djent extreme opener “CHVRCH BVRNER” sounds as though the crowd could easily have been decimated from its sheer dynamic brutal audio wall of chaos. You can hear the angry intent of every single section of Periphery here as they sonically annihilate almost four minutes of our existence. Which thankfully leads into the softer track “Remain Indoors” followed by the bottom end pummeling “Follow Your Ghost”.
Half of the Live In London set of course comprises the best tracks from 2019’s Hail Stan album with smatterings from Periphery II, Juggernaut: Alpha and Periphery III. The intent of the bands live setlist is to showcase each members individual prowess at their absolute best whilst allowing each song to stand out on its own and take the Periphery audience on a path of discovery. At this point on the album the two epically harmoniously heavy memorable moments of “Scarlet” from Periphery II followed by “Marigold” off Select Difficulty are just gold with the latter being a pulsing heartbeat where we can almost envisage both band and crowd swaying as one fused symbiotic entity. The moulding of unity sees “It’s Only Smiles” being an almost anthemic tune for this year as the band brings their audience closer into their soul, this song being a definite highlight of the Live In London night captured in question. “Blood Eagle” angries up the closing of the evening quite poignantly after which set closer “Lune” perfectly ends the album on a beautiful unifying high.