A Beginner's Guide to Periphery

Periphery are set to release their sixth album Periphery IV: HAIL STAN on April 5, but for those yet to properly familiarise themselves with the band, we've put together a what's what to help you get to grips with the djent kings. Read on for some background history and where to start when you're diving into their discography!

Who are Periphery?

Periphery originated in Washington D.C as a five-piece and are considered to be a pioneering force in the djent genre, using a combination of down-tuned grooves, progressive songwriting, melody and innovative production. They've released five albums and two EPs to date:

Periphery (2010)
Periphery II: This Time It's Personal (2012)
Juggernaut: Alpha (2015)
Juggernaut: Omega (2015)
Periphery III: Select Difficulty (2016)

As of this minute, Periphery are currently without a permanent bass player after their most recent bassist Adam "Nolly" Getgood left the band to focus on production full time, but the current lineup consists of: Spencer Sotelo (Vocals), Misha Mansoor (Guitar/Programming/Producer), Jake Bowen (Guitar/Programming/Vocals), Mark Holcomb (Guitar/Vocals), and Matt Halpern (Drums).

Misha "Bulb" Mansoor and Early Beginnings

Before Periphery released their self-titled debut album in 2010, the band can be traced back to 2005 when founder and guitarist Misha "Bulb" Mansoor began to upload videos from his bedroom of his music onto Meshuggah and John Petrucci message boards, and people really started to take notice of his virtuosic talent. A full band formed shortly after to begin working on the first record.

While Meshuggah are usually credited as the originators of the technical and low-tuned sound, it wasn't until Misha started to use the word 'djent' to describe the chugging and bending guitar tone that it caught on to become an entire genre over the following years. 

If you go way back, you can find old videos of Misha playing songs which ended up being included on their debut album, like this 2007 upload of him playing an instrumental version of the record's opener, 'Insomnia':


What You Should Listen to First

There's something great to find on every album, but we know there's a lot of music to listen to out there and only 24 hours in a day, so if you just want to cut to the core of what makes Periphery great, we've made you a Spotify playlist with a selection of tracks from their catalogue which you can listen to at the bottom of the page.

If you do want to check out a full record and your cup of tea is just straight balls-to-the-wall progressive metal, then Periphery III would be a good entry point. If you like your songs with a little more space and breath, Juggernaut: Alpha explores a lot more of the melody that was introduced on Periphery II, and there are more clean vocals present to balance out flashes of heavy sections.

Periphery IV: HAIL STAN

So far we've heard two singles from Periphery's next album. Blood Eagle is one of the heaviest songs they've released to date, while Garden In The Bones is more of a winding prog jam with more cleans. Both tracks have been phenomenal, and you can also check out an album teaser with preview clips of every song on there.

If you're a new fan of the genre, some other bands you can also check out include Animals As LeadersErraTesseracT and Veil Of Maya. Bring on Periphery IV!

Listen to Our 'Intro to Periphery' Playlist Now.