The conclusion of the Hail Stan album release tour in Europe saw Periphery grace the stage to a sold-out crowd at the Kentish Town Forum in London. Guests were treated to a diverse show of progressive metal, with support sets coming from Plini and Astronoid. On the back of a successful US tour, the band’s London faithful were hyped up and ready to witness the new tracks played live. Gig-goers were in for a treat!
The night’s proceedings began with Astronoid, a post-metal band from the US. A band I was unaware of till tonight, I was fascinated by their style of music. The blend of major key riffage and blast beats was interesting! Their set featured tracks such as “I Dream in Lines” and “Water” from their self-titled sophomore album. A friend at the show said to me ‘they can simply be described as happy metal’. They were certainly right!
Plini were second to take to the stage. The progressive metal instrumental outfit just oozed class. Silky smooth intricate clean guitars set a very relaxed mood only to be met by heavy chops and soulful lead guitar playing. A surprise came during the band’s final track when the crowd were made aware that it was the bassist’s birthday. During an improvisation section in the track, Plini got the crowd to harmonise happy birthday to a section of their song in perfect time! I was left gobsmacked. Their setlist featured fan favourites such as “Electric Sunrise” and “Handmade Cities” off Handmade Cities. The crowd swayed and hummed away to melodic parts of Plini’s set and woo’d at moments of madness from each of the band’s members. I thoroughly enjoyed their set and cannot recommend enough checking them out!
The lights were dimmed as the outro to Crush filled the venue with the crowd singing the little orchestral arrangement back. It was clear that this London crowd were going to be very loud this evening! Soon after, Periphery opened their set with their 16-minute monster of a track “Reptile”. The crowd were treated to a few special things during this track as Mikee Goodman of SikTH came on to do his guest spoken word part of the song, and Plini and Jakub Zytecki of Plini exchanged riffs over the solo that would have been played by Mark.
Periphery’s set featured a large number of tracks off their latest album Hail Stan including “It Only Smiles”, “Blood Eagle” and “CHVRCH BVRNER”. Despite being a member down, the energy on stage from guitarists Misha and Jake was great to see! Chasing each other around on stage and really engaging with the crowd, helped fill the void of the missing Mark. Singer Spencer, as always, hit every note on cue, impressively screaming out both highs and lows, whilst drummer Matt locked in the four-piece with a metronome-like tightness. On the whole, headlining a sold-out show of this size shows the ever-increasing support the progressive outfit have been receiving this side of the pond. The band were as refined as ever and kept the crowd in a trance-like state for the entirety of their set! I cannot wait to see them again.
Photos by Ya Cheng Photography