So my last review was on Periphery‘s new album Juggernaut: Alpha. In that review I mentioned that Periphery were releasing two albums on the same day (the release date was yesterday) and the second album, as well as the topic of my next review, would be the second of the two albums, Juggernaut: Omega. As mentioned in that review, I was told adamantly that these two albums are merely different albums with similar titles, and by no means are they a double album and right from the beginning I was intrigued and my intrigue was proven to be worth it.
Now, the first track on Juggernaut: Omega is called Reprise, and true to its title it is a slower, shorter and re-written version of Juggernaut: Alpha‘s opening track A Black Minute. That is the only similarity between the two albums. From this moment on I’ll try not to compare the two albums, but knowing me I will end up comparing the two much more than I’d be happy to admit.
Reprise leads in to The Bad Thing. This song is immediately heavy, with harsh guttural vocals taking up most of the singing, and Spencer Sotelo‘s clean punk sounding voice taking up a lot of the middle section, but for the most part this song, while showing many signs of being a strong progressive song such as what the band has shown great capability in writing, this song is most comparable to many metalcore songs.
Actually, (and here comes a comparison) where Juggernaut: Alpha had a lot of clean vocal friendly songs with only some songs that were more harsh than not, Juggernaut: Omega is practically the exact opposite. Only one song carries a predominantly clean vocal throughout most of the song. Priestess starts off with just a terrific acoustic intro by guitarist Misha Mansoor and turns in to the least intense song on the album. It concentrates more on its musical value and not on its in your face value; dare I call it a ballad, but not quite.
Graveless in turn is the most intense song on the album. It has both clean and harsh vocals, but it never slows down. Even when it does slow down, it doesn’t actually slow down. Only about two and a half minutes in does it finally calm down to make way for its bridge and guitar solo, but then it transitions back in your face with such ease. Hell Below is just as heavy and intense, but isn’t as fast. Both songs show the bands heaviest capabilities at both sides of the spectrum, fast and slow. To add to Hell Below’s intensity, there are absolutely no clean vocals, but it does end with a jazzy breakdown and a piano rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star which leads right into the piano intro of the title track.
Ah yes, Juggernaut: Omega‘s title track. Omega is an eleven + minute epic, and is the main reason that there are only seven songs on Juggernaut: Omega. Omega carries the load of the entire album; it’s heavy, it’s song, it’s progressive, it’s punk, it’s metalcore, it’s probably other things that even I can’t pinpoint. It takes a listener who is really capable and familiar with listening to progressive metal to really appreciate the track, since it goes everywhere and only goes back to the same great chorus a few times in its long time span. Yah, I can’t really think of anything bad to say about Omega.
Periphery end Juggernaut: Omega, and the entire Juggernaut adventure as a whole, with Stranger Things. Another longer than normal song, but not all over the place like Omega. Actually, the song is a welcome change from much of the rest of the album as it’s vocals stay closer to the clean side of things, giving more opportunity to appreciate the vocal melodies; and these vocal melodies are some of the best I’ve heard from Spencer. I like the album as a closer cause it does sum up the entire Juggernaut experience very well with one last well structured and well written progressive track that makes for a nice farewell for now to Periphery’s fans.
I must admit that when I was told both albums are different albums and not a double album, I thought “what’s the difference, how different could they sound?” But being much heavier than its predecessor, Juggernaut: Omega does a surprisingly fantastic job at holding up as its own album. If a song from either album comes up when listening to music on shuffle, it’s fairly easy to tell which of the two albums the song came from. To conclude on the entire Juggernaut experience, I will say that both albums get the same rating, though I do find one better than the other (not going to reveal quite yet which, but maybe if one or both end up on my top 10 albums of 2015) I still find both albums are on par with one another and it’s been one interesting adventure reviewing both albums.
“Graveless” – Just like Juggernaut: Alpha, my chosen highlight from Juggernaut: Omega is not my favourite from the album (that I’ll reveal as Stranger Things) but it is the best song to display what this album is all about. It’s one of the two most consistently intense songs, but it still has clean vocals, with terrific melodies I may add, but it doesn’t quite even out its intensity, just like how Juggernaut: Omega as an album’s intensity isn’t quite evened out by it’s less intense moments.
8.5 (Out of 10)
|2.||“The Bad Thing”||5:54|