Juggernaut: Alpha/Omega isn’t your typical release. Not a double album, but two separate releases that are only complete when listened to back to back (Alpha first, then Omega.) They are also the first true definition of perfection to come out of any musical act this year.
On their own, the songs are pretty damn great. Periphery has always been atop the mountain with the leaders of both the prog metal and djent genres, and that certainly shines through better than ever here. Each song beautifully builds upon the most precious and relaxing of sounds, and at the same time has healthy injections of heavy aggression in many parts of the album. Never swaying too far one way or the other, the daft and impeccable mix of aggression and gentleness is prevalent from the very commencement of this masterwork. It seems to be that Periphery has mastered their craft, and this is (at the time of writing) their magnum opus. An entrancing sound to the ears, filled with dulcet and honeyed musicianship from beginning to end.
Misha Mansoor is this generation’s Jimi Hendrix. His mastery and understanding of the guitar is out of this world. With every album, he’s taken to reinventing his entire sound while still keeping that trademark “Bulb” sound to it. That takes nothing away from Jake Bowen and Mark Holcomb though, each with their own personalized and distinctive sound that compliments all three guitar tracks perfectly on each song. Backed by some of the best bass playing you’ll ever find in the genre (courtesy of Adam “Nolly” Getgood) and Matt Halpern’s outstanding percussion opuses, and you’ve got the best example of an instrumental diamond you could ever want. Spencer Sotelo’s stunningly beautiful vocal work (backed by Bowen) brings the whole package together, concocting a tour de force like no other.
But where these albums truly shine is how well they compliment each other. Juggernaut is so much more than a two album release, it’s a dark and twisted story of evil and redemption, murder and love, all culminating into a suicidal descent into hell. But there’s so much more to the story than that, and it’s highly recommended you pick up the physical copy of the albums for that reason. Having the artwork and lyrics to go along with the music will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the album and understanding of the smartly written concept story that the band has created. You’ll find yourself replaying these albums multiple times in one sitting, looking for a better understanding of the complex and engrossing web that has been spun within the confines of this illustrious album. A seventeen song blockbuster of a narrative told through an imaginative and ingenious euphonious opera, the story is the pièce de résistance of the entire package.
When taken as a whole from the start of “A Black Minute” to the end of “Stranger Things”, Juggernaut: Alpha/Omega is more than just a two part concept album. It’s a work of art that not only transcends everything you already know and expect from the prog metal genre, it smashes through any remaining glass ceilings and raises the bar to extraordinary new heights once thought unreachable. This is a mellifluous masterpiece that will stand tall for years to come. It will serve as an inspiration to all who come after it, both in the prog metal scene and the metal scene in general.
Stream Juggernaut: Alpha here
Stream Juggernaut: Omega here