Honestly, Clear is probably my favorite release from Periphery. It was really refreshing to hear them connect to all the different sides of what makes up their musical palette. An especially great treat was Spencer Sotelo’s “The Parade of Ashes”; it was clear that Sotelo has a real passion for pop metal and everything it entails. His voice also works really well with that kind of influence. And, lo and behold, we now have a full release on which Sotelo really lets that passion shine through. Endur is its name and it sounds like what would happen if Michael Jackson, Nine Inch Nails and synthwave all had a horrific teleportation accident a la The Fly. Head on below for a taste!
I really didn’t have a choice but to name drop Michael Jackson; the Prince of Pop’s influence on Sotelo’s inflection and style on the album is unmistakable. This is coated with the occasional low growl and, in other parts of the album, some of Sotelo’s recognizable screams. Added to that are punchy electric guitars and synths (mostly on the outro here). The electronic influences, and the Nine Inch Nails influence as a result, can be heard more clearly on tracks like “Coven” or “Dream Eater”.
This latter is perhaps one of the better track on the album as it handles the tension between the dark electronics and Sotelo’s timbre really well. The result is a moving, somewhat 90’s tinged track also reminiscent of nu-metal and its experimentations with “party electronics” and metal, especially on the heavier, scream-y verses which blend into synthpop sweetness. The end result makes the track and American Parasite in general a refreshing and ultimately enjoyable release, even if it does lean into some influences a bit too hard. It’s a good album to blast when driving or when entering a smoke-filled club with doves flying out behind you as the neon flashes in the background. Just normal stuff like that.