Periphery - The Wildfire Tour ‘24

W/ Eidola
All Ages

About This Event

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Artist Info

Rome wasn’t built in a day, the world has never been less predictable, and “djent” is not a genre. These are all undeniable truths that bind us together as we enter 2023. For genre-shifting GRAMMY® Award-nominated progressive metal quintet Periphery – Misha Mansoor [guitar, programming], Jake Bowen [guitar, programming], Matt Halpern [drums], Spencer Sotelo [vocals], and Mark Holcomb [guitar] – creating the ravenously awaited follow up to 2019’s critically-acclaimed Periphery IV: HAIL STAN [3DOT Recordings] was one of the most difficult experiences it has weathered to date. It was a process that very nearly broke the band. However, with Periphery V: Djent is Not a Genre, Periphery returns with an album that was not only worth the wait, but sees the band nearing the pinnacle of its abilities.

“There were times where I didn’t know how this album would ever come out. I didn’t know how I'd ever feel good about the album, and I'd rather quit the band than put out an album that I don't feel great about” Mansoor confesses. While Periphery IV took the band a year to write and record – a period that was considered incredibly long for the group at the time – the writing sessions for Periphery V began in earnest in the fall of 2020, making the gestation period for this release the longest in Periphery’s near 17 year history by far.

It was a process fraught with logistical issues stemming from the pandemic, but also challenged by the band’s increasingly high standards for themselves. Mark Holcomb explains “We would do week-and-a-half writing retreats and then take two months away from the material before revisiting it together. We really played by the rules with respect to Covid safety and travel and because of that, we had an almost impractical amount of time to analyze the material between
sessions. Our standards are higher than ever, so we all pushed ourselves on this album much harder than we ever have before. It was a hard process because we had to keep ourselves honest to those standards.”

From Mansoor’s perspective, the creative challenges on Periphery V were also tied to avoiding repeating past statements. Mansoor says “We ended up in a very difficult place where we had to ask if we were retreading ground. I always say it's very simple to make a Periphery record – the only thing we need it to do is excite us. That hasn't changed, but it's gotten harder and harder for us to make music that passes muster because we're ultimately doing it for ourselves. At this point, there's no reason to make Periphery records other than to make music that we’re proud of, and the stakes are higher because we’ve all grown as writers and players. Material that we would've thought was great in the past isn't cutting it anymore.”

However, the strongest steel is forged in the hottest fires and the strength of Periphery V is unquestionable. With enough “time, stress, and suffering” as Mansoor says, the band found they could solve any problem. Periphery V is an album that sees every sonic weapon in the group’s vast arsenal honed, expanded, and seemingly mastered. The melodies that lace in-and-out of the band’s trademark polyrhythmic churn boast sharper hooks than heard on past Periphery releases. The record’s production, tones, and atmospherics are more textured and engrossing than ever before. Every member of the band has seemingly brought a new spirit to their performances. And yes, that intoxicatingly heavy rhythm guitar assault has leveled up as well.

Periphery V will satiate stalwart fans hoping for a familiar sound after so long away, but it’s also an album made by a band that’s matured in its ability to cohesively blend the disparate elements that have always made it so unique. There are wildly creative twists that speak of a band bravely navigating the outer margins of its sound while progressing thoughtfully beyond the expected. The album opens with a prime example with the track “Wildfire”, a song Mansoor and Holcomb both expect to become a fan favorite and set staple, and a song that shifts from a brutal and anthemic riff fest to a jazz-infused piano excursion – complete with a saucy sax solo by Shining frontman and Haunted Shores contributor Jørgen Munkeby and underpinned by an ultra contemporary electronic bed. The album also features a full-blown electro pop ballad (“Silhouette”) that acts as a beautifully dynamic segue between sides, and guitar solos, like Jake Bowen’s fleet-fingered outing in the middle of “Zagreus”, feel like a song-within-a-song and should remind everyone exactly why Periphery’s trio of string stranglers are considered zenith players among their generation and have repeatedly graced the covers and pages of every important guitar magazine in the business.

The record also features a pair of tracks that could serve as the ultimate thesis statements for what this band does at its best. “Atropos” and “Dracul Gras” find Periphery flexing their uncanny ability to fuse soaring, triumphant melodies and crushing rhythmic ideas into single, fluid journeys that often employs both concepts at once. While this has never been a band that’s shied away from applying a cinematic scope to its music, with these songs, they’ve penned a pair of masterworks that take the classic prog-metal tradition of songs with layers, with forward motion, and with depth, and twist it into something entirely their own. And while both songs boast heaps of this band’s typical jaw-dropping musicianship, the chops somehow take a backseat to the songs as a whole – a testament to how much this band has matured as

Periphery V is certainly a album with a lot to process, but it’s one that ultimately feels like a cohesive and direct statement. Mansoor says “The time away between retreats allowed these things to be refined, which is something that's become very, very important to us. If it isn’t serving the song, we got rid of it. It might have been one of the coolest riffs in a song, but if it wasn’t adding anything to the big picture, it got cut. We’re starting to get a lot more harsh about that and trying to take a much more holistic view of the music we make. I think that leads to this new level of refinement. That took a lot of time for us.”

The wait was long, the process arduous, but the results speak for themselves. Holcomb looks back and ruminates, saying “There were real life challenges this time and I don't want to understate the impact that the pandemic has had on everybody. All of us in this band went through some life-changing shit. Things were fully primed to knock us off course, so it feels really good to look back and say ‘we got through this because of each other as a band – not because of any one person heroically saving the day.’ We got through it by just having faith in each other. We won the lottery in that sense with this band.”

Mansoor shares the sentiment, explaining “I'm really proud of the material and it was certainly a labor of love and a tough album to make. The feeling that we were going to have to give up because it kept taking so long was so overwhelming at times, that to not just overcome it, but to feel so proud of this album has really galvanized us as a band in a way that I don’t think any other experience could have.”
EIDOLA have returned to utterly defy expectations and reach exhilarating heights. The enigmatic existential post-hardcore band hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah is back once again to push the limits of the art form to its breaking point. Seeking to explore new territory with an ambitious follow up to their critically acclaimed album The Architect, the dynamically heavy and deeply sorrowful Eviscerate paves eclectically violent sonic ground while remaining true to the band’s profound lyricism and meaning.

If you could sum up Eidola’s genre-annihilating decade of creating music it might be insightful, explorative, deeply emotional, extremely dynamic post-hardcore. Eviscerate underlines the urgency of the human condition and captures the depth of sorrow, loss, and hatred in modernity.

“No Weapon Formed Shall Prosper” rips right out the gate, blisteringly fast and heavy, with powerful vocals and a call to immediate action. “Who Of You Will Persevere?” pays homage to the band’s energetic rock history with hooky verses and passionate choruses that outline the struggle of true competition. The undeniably brutal arrangement “Fistful Of Hornets” is a chaotic masterpiece of expert musicianship boiled down to a mind melting 2 and half minutes.

The album kicks off with a poignant foreshadowing in the lines “I am all and I was made to suffer, I will watch as everything that I love dies. I am one, and I was ground down to nothing.” A stanza that perfectly encapsulates the heartfelt, esoteric, and melancholic journey the listener is about to embark on for the remaining 12 tracks.

Eidola began in 2012 when vocalist Andrew Wells, guitarist and vocalist Matthew Dommer, bassist James Johnson, and drummer Matt Hansen collectively ended their competing local Utah bands and joined forces to create something brand new. After self-releasing their first album The Great Glass Elephant the band quickly gained notoriety in their local scene and regional touring circuits, eventually garnering the attention of Will Swan of Dance Gavin Dance. The band signed to Blue Swan Records and released their first official LP Degeneraterrain May of 2015 and immediately began touring DIY

After earning their place among the up and coming post-hardcore community, the band sought to delve further into mathematics and eastern philosophy with their breakout follow up To Speak, To Listen in June of 2017. Produced and engineered by Dryw Owens (A Lot Like Birds, From Indian Lakes), the album was the band’s first billboard charting success and landed them a budding loyal fanbase amid multiple national support tours with Hail The Sun, Capstan, Chon, and Dance Gavin Dance. This phase also saw the band bring full time guitarist Sergio Medina (Royal Coda, Sianvar) into the fold for the exciting horizon ahead.

On a steady pace toward international acclaim, the band began writing and recording their well spoken and endearing third album The Architect, produced by Kris Crummet (Issues, Sleeping With Sirens, Memphis May Fire). This process was almost completely derailed when singer/songwriter Andrew Wells attempted suicide in 2019. After dealing with suicidal ideation and depression on constant tours between Eidola and his more permanent position as the guitarist/vocalist of Dance Gavin Dance, the weight of it all proved to be too much. Wells says “it was a very difficult time in my life. After spending that time in an in-patient center and seeking therapy afterward, I made it my mission to
be outspoken about mental health and my journey to recovery.”

As Wells began his journey to recovery, the band was able to finish The Architect and began planning a massive roll out to follow up a steadily growing career in the genre. As they finalized these plans the COVID pandemic swept the world and put the entirety of the music industry on pause. The band had time to reflect on what they wanted out of their art and decided to spend more time crafting and cultivating the best release they could imagine, so that when the world was ready they would be equally inclined.

In September of 2021, after numerous delays and personal obstacles, the band finally released The Architect to near universal praise, netting the band its highest billboard charting slot, solidifying the bands cult following, and enabling them to tour with Polyphia, Veil Of Maya, and a slew of other heavy hitters. The success enabled the band to embark on their first major headline tours and sell out rooms across the country, as well as embark on their first international tour to the UK.

Newly motivated, back on track, and ready to take their ambitions to dramatically new heights; the band hired Mike Sahm as the producer for their 13 song blistering epic Eviscerate. “We spent our downtime completely immersed in our desire to push our own limitations” says Wells. “We wanted to take the concepts of this project and double down on the things we felt were most ambitious and exploratory. While keeping our core sound, we chose to experiment with a new producer, 7 string guitars, deep drop tunings, and lean into the violence and loss in our lyrical content.”

The exploration is apparent on the band’s 5th full length release. Their traditionally discussed concepts of wrestling with faith, psychology, human history, and hope are deeply entrenched in newly delved territory of loss, grief, hatred, despair, and coping with absolute abysmal chaos. Eidola seeks to evoke substance in every chord, depth in every lyric, and begs the listener to question the foundations of their very own reality. The enigmatic post-hardcore band shows no signs of slowing as they showcase their lust for the dynamics of the human experience on Eviscerate.
Jake Bowen

"If you have people over for dinner, you’re not likely to put on Slayer," muses Jake Bowen. 

You'd be much more likely to play The Daily Sun, the Periphery guitarist's second solo LP — eight largely zen-like tracks built on sequenced synthesizers, glitchy beats and ambient atmospheres. "When I'm writing," he says, "I'm trying to get my mind to a place of peace. It can't be too complex or too distracting — otherwise it doesn't serve the purpose I want." 

Bowen invested in this meditative vibe during the COVID-19 pandemic with his prog-metal band forced off the road. However he's been quietly working on electronic music since around 2005, right before he joined Periphery — experimenting with the music DAW Reason and a simple, one-MIDI-out keyboard his mom bought him during high school. 

"It kinda blew that world open to me: 'Oh, you can connect your keyboard to your computer!'" he recalls, noting the early influence of the Deus Ex video game soundtracks and electronic acts like Telefon Tel Aviv. "It's the first time I understood that there were ways of composing music through sequencers and software synths and stuff. Prior to that, I was like, 'This is made when you go to the store and buy a very expensive Korg Triton.' I would just make these little clips using pre-sets, and eventually I was able to sew some ideas together." 

That first batch of ideas, the 2011 Zu EP, showcased his ear for glowing synth hooks and reverb-heavy textures. Four years (and multiple Periphery albums) later, he graduated to lusher, more dynamic arrangements on Isometric, a full-length that he produced, mixed, mastered, art-designed and even distributed all on his own. With some experience under his belt and a rare stretch of free time on his hands, Bowen aimed higher on The Daily Sun: recruiting collaborators for a handful of tracks--including a pair of stunning guest vocals--and consciously emphasizing the grabbier, more melodic side of his sound. 

These songs don't feel like djent-y riffs transposed to synths — they're simple, tightly crafted tunes that lower your blood pressure even as they pique your curiosity: "Drifter" recalls vintage Postal Service with its ringing keys and throbbing bass; the title track rides a sequenced keyboard pattern and hazy programming; "Mirage," a collaboration with Matt Lange, gently weaves clean and distorted guitars into the software shimmer; both "Say Nothing" with singer Abbi Press and "I Am Error" with singer/Bowen's best friend, Elliot Coleman add a soulful human touch. Lyrically, both features offer similar themes of loneliness and isolation, a relatable and central theme of living quarantined through a pandemic.

These contributors helped push Bowen out of his comfort zone, expanding his sonic universe. “I’ve known Elliot for 14 years and we’ve always wanted to work together on a song or project, Elliot has such a unique style and he’s fronted some amazing bands. I met Abbi at a show we played in Brooklyn together a few years back when I was playing solo material from my first album live. Hearing Abbi sing live was incredible and I knew she would be a great fit for the kind of music I write.”

"I'm such a musical loner in a lot of ways," he says. "I always want to work with people, but I'm intimidated. I'm in a very comfortable place with Periphery, but outside of that it's always a mystery of how these networks form. I listen to a lot of music that has features, and I'm like, 'I've gotta start doing this because it helps you meet new people and brings a new dimension to the music.' It was a matter of figuring out what direction I wanted to go — and for what songs. I've been writing more open music — not as layered, not as dense — which makes a lot more room for vocals."

And it's not like Bowen's stepping away from his main gig: In the buildup to The Daily Sun, he's holed up in an Airbnb with his Periphery bandmates working on their seventh studio record. That process, as always, involves a lot of democratic thought, synergy, and technical skill. But on his own, he's able to unwind from that weight and intensity — achieving a restorative balance. 

"As much as I love metal — and I love writing it, and I love being in Periphery — there is a certain degree of expectation to the quality," he says. "And I have a little bit of anxiety about it. With my solo work, I feel I can be a bit more stream-of-consciousness and be more of myself. I'm more comfortable writing in that space because it's just for me. I try not to think too hard about it and it usually leads me to a side of my music that I don’t often get to explore in Periphery.”