If there is anything of note about music and 2016 is that this is clearly the year of the riff. With so much doom, stoner, retro and sludge digging their groove laden tendrils into everyone they can reach and making us all embrace the goodness of groove and riffs, it’s rather easy to forget about other genres which have some damn fine riffery to them, most notably Death Metal. With (In my opinion anyway) Aborted being the only major Death Metal band to release something of massive significance this year in the form of Termination Redux and the upcoming (Or already released if this goes out after it!) Retrogore, sometimes you need a real powerful kick to remind you about promising sounds in other genres.
Enter Peripheral Cortex. This technical death metal four piece, formed in Berlin back in 2013 were originally a five piece but due to commitments and musical directions, they carried on as a quartet and have set their aim high with the release of their two track demo “Rupture”. With influences firmly rooted in technical minded metal such as Death, Carcass (The mid90’s era) and Necrophagist, the four piece look set to make a mark on a genre which has some real popularity these days.
The overall feel of this two track release is intense. From the off, the snaking arpeggio’s, tight and precise drumming and raw as hell screamed vocals of “Rupturing Aeons” hit you hard and do not let up. With a heavy leaning towards the Necrophagist style delivery, it is entropy manifested in a controlled musical form. The intricate guitar leads which slip into rapid fire riffs are executed well, bringing a sense of precision which Psycroptic are known for, whilst some elements of melody scream out Necroticism-era Carcass, especially in the rhythm section.
“Ascending The Periphery” has the initial feel of a Death track with its elaborate intro but this soon shifts back to the controlled and intense, perfectly timed assault of intricacy. With overlapping lines, displaying some magnificent control and technique from both guitar and bass, this is a real showcase to the technical prowess of the band and the drums are every bit as solid, keeping the whole entropic vortex in perfect time.
Overall, this is a fairly promising two track EP but it feels rather familiar due to the huge number of influences and similarities in the music. Not to say that is a bad thing, some say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and whilst there are numerous similarities to bands like Carcass, Necrophagist, Death and Psycroptic in this short release, it isn’t a blatant rip off or tribute, but more of a new band trying to find their own voice in a very hard genre to be unique in.