By: David Von Bader There are two distinct types of heavy-metal fans that have developed over the past decade. There are those who continue to ask, "What's next?" And then there are those who live in a leather-clad past with a vehement disdain for all that threatens to sully the genre by straying too far from its lineage.
While there is surely a spectrum for these things and people do fall along a spectrum, for those who veer closer to the former, it might appear that the heavy-metal train has hit the proverbial wall in terms of extremity. Eight-string guitars built to accommodate cartoonishly low tunings are now standard tools for many bands. The time signatures have been divided, subdivided, subtracted, and molested in ways that would make Neil Peart dizzy, and trends have shifted to music that relies more on predictable sonic tropes, breakdowns, and blast beats than strong artistic statements.
Then there's a band like Periphery, guitarist and producer Misha Mansoor's brainchild of brutality.
Mansoor was the man behind the recording project Bulb, a self-performed and self-produced extreme-metal megalith that spread its hype through the Internet like hellfire itself. Mansoor's deft playing was a breath of fresh air in the world of post-death-metal heavy music.
In this world, bands were using the colors and sounds of death metal to make music so simple, so calculated, so generic, and ultimately so sterile that it felt like progress was impossible without a real return to the past. Periphery became the band that brought Bulb to life and has since become the standard-bearer for the new voice of progression in extremely heavy music.
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Now surrounded by watered-down copycats masturbating away on low notes, Periphery continues to be the first band to make the next statement for a genre eating its own tail.
Periphery perform with Nothing More, Wovenwar and Thank You Scientist at the Yost Theater this Friday. 6p .m. $20. All ages. For more details, click here.