is an American progressive metal band from Bethesda, Maryland formed in 2005. The band is known for their heavy, modern, and progressive sound that includes polyrhythmic patterns and soaring melodies. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the djent movement in progressive metal.The band consists of vocalist Spencer Sotelo, guitarists Misha Mansoor, Mark Holcomb, and Jake Bowen, drummer Matt Halpern, and bassist Adam Getgood. Periphery released their self-titled debut in 2010 and their follow-up, Periphery II: This Time It's Personal
, on July 3, 2012. On December 3, 2013 Periphery released a teaser for their upcoming EP/mini-album "Clear", which was released on January 28, 2014. All Periphery material is self produced by the members.Formation and early lineup changes (2005–2009)Periphery was formed by guitarist Misha Mansoor in 2005, who slowly gained a reputation on the Internet via a regularly-updated Soundclick account, the Meshuggah and John Petrucci forums, and the sevenstring.org message boards. Before and during Periphery's tenure in the metal scene, Mansoor developed a reputation for doing his own audio production, the majority of which was performed with a home computer and a Pod XT. Mansoor has continued to update his personal project, Bulb, often transferring songs between the two projects. Mansoor also continues to be involved in a number of other musical projects, including Haunted Shores, Four Seconds Ago, and Of Man Not of Machine.Periphery went through a number of lineup changes during its early history. Originally, Misha played drums and guitar in the band, but began scoping out local talent and found local drummer Jason Berlin, and then switched permanently to guitar. Berlin was planning to pursue interests in Los Angeles and was replaced upon departure by Travis Orbin. Between 2005 and 2009, Periphery worked with vocalists Jake Veredika, Casey Sabol and Chris Barretto, gradually moving from a Meshuggah-influenced sound to a more ambient, melodic sound, with a focus on innovative production.Periphery has toured extensively since 2008, supporting artists including DevilDriver, Emmure, and Veil of Maya, Animals as Leaders, God Forbid, Darkest Hour, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Fear Factory, Between the Buried and Me, and Fair to Midland.
Spencer Sotelo, Matt Halpern and self-titled debut (2010–2011)
In 2009, Travis Orbin left the band to pursue a career as a session drummer. He was then replaced by Matt Halpern. In January 2010, Sumerian and Periphery announced on April 20, as the release date of the band's self-titled debut album, to be distributed by Sumerian Records in the United States; Distort Records in Canada; Roadrunner Records in Australia; Century Media Records in Germany, and the rest of the world. On January 20, 2010, amid speculation that they had changed vocalists again, Periphery uploaded an album sampler with vocals by Spencer Sotelo, a San Diego native who was later announced to be Periphery's new vocalist, replacing Chris Barretto, who had been fired from the band due to personal differences, resulting in a minor feud that would not be resolved until late 2013 (see below).Periphery released their self-titled debut album, Periphery
, through Sumerian Records on April 20, 2010. It debuted at No. 128 on the Billboard Top 200, as well as No. 2 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. To support the album: Periphery played multiple tours around the US and Canada; a short tour of Australia along with The Dillinger Escape Plan, and a headlining tour of the UK and mainland Europe in February 2011. The band's first headlining tour, “League Of Extraordinary Djentlemen Tour”, had support from TesseracT and Monuments in the UK, while their mainland European shows included Monuments and The Safety Fire. The band ran into multiple health issues during the tour; Spencer Sotelo had a case of bronchitis and was regularly unable to perform the entire set. Jake Bowen fell and broke a finger in the first week of the UK tour and was unable to play for the rest of their headlining tour. He recovered and joined the band during the last couple of shows on their tour with Fair to Midland and Scale the Summit right before they dropped out of the tour.On March 22, Periphery released a cover of Metallica's song "One", which was recorded for the Homefront video game soundtrack and was released as a free download on the Homefront main website.
Icarus EP and addition of Mark Holcomb (2011)
On January 19, 2011, the music video for "Jetpacks Was Yes!" was posted on NME. The video features a re-recorded and re-structured version of the song which was released on "The Icarus EP". Periphery's first single, from their "Icarus EP" titled "Frak the Gods", was released on March 24.On July 6, 2011, Periphery announced via a MySpace blog post that the band had parted ways with guitarist Alex Bois. However, they did not change touring schedules, hiring Mark Holcomb and Adam "Nolly" Getgood to play Alex's parts during live shows until they found a permanent replacement.On 7 September 2011, they were announced as the opening act for Dream Theater on the European leg of A Dramatic Turn of Events Tour starting in January 2012. In October 2011, the band announced that Mark Holcomb was now the band's full-time guitarist, and in November bassist Tom Murphy decided to leave the band. This led to Nolly being assigned the role of bassist for their European tour with Dream Theater. The band also hired Mark's brother Jeff as a stand-in bass player for their 2012 US tour with Protest The Hero, Jeff Loomis, The Safety Fire and Today I Caught the Plague.On February 21, 2012 the band re-released their debut album with a new single on iTunes entitled "Passenger". This was a partially re-recorded version of an old Haunted Shores song.
Periphery II: This Time It's Personal (2012-2013)
Periphery then entered the studio to work on their next two full-length releases to record reworked "Bulb" demos as well as completely new material written by the full band. The upcoming releases would also be the first to feature the use of string arrangements and orchestral elements. The album was to be produced by Misha and Adam "Nolly" Getgood (of British progressive metal band Red Seas Fire) and engineered and mixed by Taylor Larson (Sky Eats Airplane, Of Legends, Life on Repeat).In July 2011, Mansoor elaborated on the forthcoming albums in Australian magazine Mixdown
. He confirmed that there would be two albums recorded, and that one would be a concept album. Mansoor has had an interest in a concept album for quite some time, stating that "[he\] wanted to to get this concept album out there. It's been an idea for years and years." Mansoor also revealed that the band would release the albums separately, saying "[they\]'ll probably do a staggered release, three to six months apart" and that "[he\] really want[s\] them to be these separate bodies of work, because they will sound different, and be completely different approaches, too."Periphery II
was made available for streaming on YouTube on June 28, 2012. Hours later, the band announced that Adam "Nolly" Getgood had officially joined the band, his role in the band mostly being a bassist but also contributing to guitar parts in the studio (a role which he had already taken on during the recording of Periphery II), effectively making him the "multi-instrumentalist" of the band. Jeff Holcomb continued to perform with Periphery during the 2012 Summer Slaughter tour until they had to drop out due to a family emergency; this was done so that Nolly could perform his last show with Red Seas Fire at the inaugural UK Tech-Metal Fest.Since the 2012 Summer Slaughter tour Jeff Holcomb has remained a regular part of the band's crew and still performs as a stand-in bass player when required. As well as this, he makes documentary films about the band's tours and directed the music video for Ragnarok.
In June 2013, Misha announced that he was starting work on a solo album, which would be self-released under a "pay-what-you-want" business model.Spencer Sotelo hinted in 2 tweets in September 2013 that Periphery were planning to release a new EP, the writing for which was already well under way, to tide their fans over until the release of Juggernaut
, the band's much anticipated third full-length album.In October, it was announced that Misha Mansoor and Jake Bowen were having signature pickups released; the Bare Knuckle Pickups Juggernaut and DiMarzio Titan pickups respectively. It was also announced that Bowen's Ibanez LACS "Titan" would be made as a signature guitar and that Nolly was developing a signature bass with Dingwall.In November 2013, former singer Chris Barretto made a surprise appearance during an encore of "Icarus Lives!" at the Gramercy Theater. As well as ending the long standing feud between Chris and Periphery, it also marked the end of Periphery's "This Tour is Personal" headlining tour.In December, Periphery announced a new release entitled Clear
, set for release on January 28, 2014. Clear
is a separate project from Juggernaut
and was built around a unique concept: each track apart from the opener "overture" was assigned to a different member of the band, who acted as the "creative director" for their respective song, and every track shares the theme from "overture" to link each track in the release together. The band insisted that it should not be considered an EP as at 30 minutes in length it is longer than most EPs, but should not be classified as an album.
is a concept which has been under development by the band for several years. Misha had initially written a series of demos early in Periphery's history, which were sections of a planned extended composition with the Juggernaut title; this extended composition contained Periphery's breakthrough song "Icarus Lives" as one of its sections. The idea of an extended piece was eventually scrapped and extended into a concept which would span an entire album.During the Periphery II
album cycle it was planned that Juggernaut
would be released 3–6 months after Periphery II
as part of a double album. However, this plan was also dropped due to Periphery's touring commitments, pushing the projected release back to 2014. A release during late 2014 is now expected, as the band pushed writing and pre-production even further back to allow for time to write and record Clear
.Guitars and amplificationIn an interview with Mixdown
magazine, Misha Mansoor discussed the band's live sound; "I think the tone quest ended for us with the Axe-FX. We now go direct. We don't use amps any more, we don't use cabs, we don't use pedals. We just have an Axe-FX and a Fractal MFC foot controller...and we just go directly into the board with that", says Mansoor. Jake Bowen and Mark Holcomb are endorsed by Ibanez Guitars and Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars respectively, and Nolly is endorsed by ViK Guitars and Dingwall Basses. Misha is not tied to any specific guitar company, although he mainly uses Mayones and Jackson guitars when performing live and has endorsements from both companies.
The band uses 6, 7, and 8 string guitars. The predominant amount of their songs are in Drop C (CGCFAD) and Drop Ab (AbEbAbDdGbBbEb), with their only 8 string songs "Ji" and "Extraneous" being in standard 8 string tuning (F#BEADGBE). For the songs "Totla Mad" and "Frak the Gods" they tune the low C on their 6 string guitars down to Bb (BbGCFAD), for "Zyglrox" they tune the low C down to A (AGCFAD), as well as for "Muramasa". "Ragnarok" is in a 7-string variation of the "Totla Mad" tuning, the low Ab is tuned down to Gb/F# (GbEbAbDbGbBbEb). "Scarlet" is in Open Cadd9 tuning (CGCEGD).
The band draws a lot of influences from various progressive metal bands and non-metal bands alike. According to Misha Mansoor, such influences include: Deftones, Tool, Meshuggah, Sikth, Hiromi, Shane Gibson, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dream Theater, Ion Dissonance, Nevermore, Guthrie Govan, Between The Buried And Me, Nobuo Uematsu, Devin Townsend, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Gojira, Mats/Morgan, Refused, Ron and Bobby Jarzombek, Textures, Return to Forever and Paul Ortiz (aka Chimp Spanner)