Periphery - IV: Hail Stan Album Review 
About The Band
Formed in 2005, Washington, DC’s Periphery are recognized as leaders in the Djent and Progressive Metalcore movements. The band are known for their experimental musicianship, often blending multiple styles of music into single songs, which creates atmospheric and dynamic records that feel more like a journey than a collection of individual songs. The band self-produce all of their music and release it on their own 3DOT Records. Also notable is vocalist Spencer Sotelo, who joined the band in 2014, and is well-known for his work in Post Hardcore juggernauts From First to Last.
IV: Hail Stan
While I have always enjoyed Periphery, this, their fifth album, is the moment where they pull out all the stops. Opening with a string section that evolves/devolves into various forms of music (over the course of nearly twelve minutes), “Reptile” opens the album with the perfect overview of what is to come. The Post Hardcore influence is certainly felt, but the song has no shortage of soloing, breakdowns, atmospheric guitars, or melodic moments. By the time it ended (with its quasi-futuristic programming) I was so impressed that I’d have been perfectly happy with this being the whole album.
The band, thankfully, are far from done after “Reptile,” launching into the chaotic lead single “Blood Eagle.” The bouncing crunch of the guitars is perfect and the mix of the heavy and the atmospheric create a sinister sounding monster with it’s pointed lyrics and sharp rhythms. The heavier aspect plays a great foil to much of “Reptile.”
It’d be easy to just go through this album track by track as there isn’t really anything I’d suggest skipping on IV: Hail Stan, but I’ll refrain. “CHVRCH BVRNER” is heavy as hell and boasts an almost Rap Rock vocal approach before the screaming buries you (only to be rescued by a huge melodic piece). “Follow Your Ghost” is another of my personal favorite moments. It starts out pretty heavy and crushing but mid-song the syncopated guitars start swirling around the machine gun guitars creating a psychedelic effect that blows your mind. Eventually the sound finds itself in a valley filled with strings and soaring vocals before it closes in a fury of heaviness. From this comes the almost entirely programmed “Crush,” which is a welcome respite at this point in the album.
Wow. I’m not sure how you could not like this album if you are a fan of anything heavy or progressive. These dudes are so damn talented, from the stellar production to the incredible musicianship to the emotional delivery (an aspect that is often lost in this genre). Like a King’s X, Tool, Deftones, or Meshuggah album, there is a lot to digest here and each listen reveals new things to the listener. Musicians will certainly gravitate towards IV: Hail Stan, but the band manage to keep it accessible enough that everyone will find something to love
Periphery is a 3Dot Records recording artist. Please go to the following link for more information on 3Dot Records!