Six-piece progressive metal giant, Periphery is back in Australia to satisfy hungry fans with the band’s signature brand of pounding, melodic and mathematical sounds. And satisfy they did; filling the room with complex triple guitar noise, harsh but beautiful vocal melodies, and drums that pounded hard enough to kick your heart right out of your chest. The American outfit brought two Aussie acts along with them: Melbourne-based, Circles and Sydney heroes, Polaris—each band bringing its A game.

Circles took to the stage first, blasting out a tight set of melodic math rock with admirable enthusiasm. Though the crowd was a little stiff at first, punters slowly but surely warmed to the band. By set’s end, the audience was head-banging in unison, cheering loud and proud, and raising their outside fingers in devil-horned approval. The guys from Circles didn’t take a moment of their stage time for granted. They showcased energy for days, along with impressive musicianship and a highly infectious sense of fun—perfectly setting the mood for what was to come, and undoubtedly netting themselves quite a few new fans in the process.

Polaris was up next and the crowd wasted no time in opening up one of the most animated circle pits one could imagine. The band reveled in the chaos—at times becoming more animated than the crowd—as they pumped through more heavy-duty goodness. Whereas many math-rock acts tend to look as though they’re sitting a high school exam as they’re playing, Polaris were smiling wide, jumping high, and making brothers out of the audience.

After a short interval, Periphery emerged and from the first beat of the first song, the guys had the audience utterly enveloped. And the stranglehold on their attention refused to let-up over the course of their hour-and-twenty-minute-long set. After warming up the audience with older songs ‘Scarlet’ and ‘Luck As a Constant’, vocalist, Spencer Sotelo confidently exclaimed, “that’s enough old, time for the new!” Thus continued a set adequately representing the band’s past body of work but focusing mainly on their latest opus, Periphery III: Select Difficulty, much to the delight of their fans. With the three brilliant guitarists—Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen, and Mark Holcomb—spending their energy concentrating on nailing the complex weaving rhythms and melodies, it was down to Spencer to be the crowd man—a task which he was clearly born to handle.

A notable and sadly distracting missing link was in the absence of bassist, Adam Getwood. Although drummer, Matt Halpern does an admirable job without his rhythm-section brother, there was some glue missing in Adam that could have streamlined the madness just a bit.

Boasting two strong support acts, unbeatable musicianship, and enough energy to punch a hole in the wall, Periphery satisfied immensely. Circles and Polaris certainly impressed but Periphery made short work of showcasing why they were the headliners of this night. The crowd screamed themselves bloody, jostled each other around the room, and pushed the Metro a few inches into the ground with their constant bouncing.

Don’t miss this fantastic lineup. If you’re a fan of any of the acts, or if you’re a fan of metal and are finding yourself short on gigs to attend this February, then head on down.

Sunday, February 5: 170 Russell, Melbourne
Tuesday, February 7: Fowlers Live, Adelaide
Thursday, February 9: Capitol, Perth

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Photo: Supplied

Sydney Music Blog-Sydney Music Magazine-Periphery