Album Review: Periphery IV: Hail Stan (Century Media Records)

Time and freedom breed invention. Without compromise, Grammy Award-nominated quintet Periphery—Misha Mansoor [guitar, programming], Jake Bowen [guitar, programming], Matt Halpern [drums], Spencer Sotelo [vocals], and Mark Holcomb [guitar]—enliven, enlarge, and expand the outer reaches of their signature progressive alternative metal on 2019’s Periphery IV: Hail Stan [3DOT Recordings]. For the first time in a 13-year career, the group devoted an entire year to crafting the nine tracks comprising the album.

Periphery IV: Hail Stan is out on April 5th 2019 via Century Media Records.

It’s been a few years since the last Periphery album, called Select Difficulty. An album we absolutely loved (read our review here) so it’s with much excitement that we now have Hail Stan.

Put any concerns to rest. As a followup, Hail Stan more then matches the quality of their previous output. It’s every bit as Periphery as you could hope it to be with progressive heaviness, wild energy, chilled out melodies, powerful effects and soundscapes. Expansive and fascinating, just two words to sum up opener Reptile, a gargantuan start that takes us through the entire Periphery spectrum. A truly outstanding track that is as likely to open up a pit as it is to get tears flowing.

After such an exhausting start (just by the length) there is no time to rest as Blood Eagle and CHVRCH BVRNER bring madness inducing intensity. Some of the heaviest tracks Periphery have ever done although I’m not sure about jarring effects that see out the latter, as brief as they are.

As great as the first half of Hail Stan is, it only gets better with the more melodic It’s Only Smiles, a truly uplifting track that delivers a mix of effects, melody, soaring vocals and complex guitar rhythm. The final part of this track is up there as some of the best writing Periphery have ever done.

Done? Not even close as Follow Your Ghost is blast beat savageness, Crush brings 80s sci-fi synth to a melodic moody number and Sentient Glow is a more ‘traditional’ sounding Periphery short number.

Hail Stan, a truly outstanding album, ends with Satellites. A soft melodic tune up until the the final few minutes where Periphery throw their all into ending in massive style. It works, boy does it work.

Periphery IV 1

Periphery – Hail Stan Full Track Listing:

1. Reptile
2. Blood Eagle
4. Garden in the Bones
5. It’s Only Smiles
6. Follow Your Ghost
7. Crush
8. Sentient Glow
9. Satellites

Hail Stan will be available via all major streaming services on release.

Periphery IV: Hail Stan (Century Media Records)
  • 9/10
    The Final Score - 9/10
User Rating 5 (1 vote)
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