CD Review: Periphery – “Juggernaut: Alpha”

jose bernardo

Artist : Periphery
Album : Juggernaut: Alpha (2015 Sumerian/Century Media)
Tracks : 10

Artist website :


This is disc 1 of the two CD set Juggernaut: Alpha/Omega, the third studio effort from the progressive metal band Periphery. I’ll do a separate post on disc 2.

I really like this band. They’re very musical, modern, and heavy. The musicianship is superb. Their brand of progressive metal is very different from what I think of when I think of the genre. There are elements that are popular in modern metal in this music and there is very little of what I would consider “classic” progressive metal in their music.

These tracks are short. It’s easy to digest, unlike most progressive music. These guys are songwriters. Overall, I’d say this disc is very good.


Alpha and 22 Faces


Track 1 –  A Black Minute

Very mellow track. Nice melodies.

Track 2 – MK Ultra

Here comes the metal. This is kind of like Lamb of God meets Scar Symmetry. Nice!

Interesting end section. I’d almost call this jazz, but it isn’t.

Track 3 – Heavy Heart

Nice melodies again. Most of this song could be used as a study in guitar arpeggios.

Track 4 – The Event

Filler. If an ambient instrumental track is not your thing, skip it.

Track 5 – The Scourge

Heavy and melodic with a pinch of mellow. This song has their trademark sound.

The song ends with a section that is kind of like Coldplay in feel.

Track 6 – Alpha

Cool intro! I feel like right from the intro that I will enjoy this song the most on this disc. (1 minute and 40 seconds in) Yes, I really like this track. So many elements come together with the right energy for me here. I like the chorus melody a lot.

Track 7 – 22 Faces

Very cool track! I like this one too.

Track 8 – Rainbow Gravity

Interesting track. The guitar solo here has a very John Petrucci-esque sound and phrasing. The only spot on the whole record that has a “classic” progressive metal sensibility.

There is a super mainstream metal band (which I won’t name) that wants to sound like this song but the band members of that band lack the musicianship of Periphery to pull it off.

Track 9 – Four Lights

Another filler track made up mostly of djenting with a short killer solo towards the end of the track.

Track 10 – Psychosphere

The longest track on this CD clocking in at 6:16. Mellow and heavy. I couldn’t help but think: “What would Gavin Harrison do if he had played drums on this track?” I think it is pointless for the drummer to follow the guitars so closely and not provide more counterpoint. The drumming does become more interesting at 3:17, but still follows the riffs pretty closely.

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