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PERIPHERY Names The Video Games They Played While Recording Their New Album

Some song titles might give it away.

Periphery

The following list was written by Periphery guitarist Mark Holcomb.

Periphery is a band of gamers. Whether we're on tour, in the studio, or at home, it is non-stop. Gaming even factors into Periphery's beginnings, as back when we all met in the mid-2000's, we bonded over 2 things: music and Final Fantasy. Our affinity for it has only intensified as we've come along, as I've since gotten into voice-acting (Disco Elysium, Hello Puppets: Midnight Show) and Misha has composed music for several releases (Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Halo 2 Anniversary) over the years.

Here's a list of games we played throughout the recording of Periphery V: Djent Is Not A Genre, as well as games that directly inspired the music on our new record.

Hades

During the P5 sessions, Spencer, Misha and I were completely hooked on Hades. It got so bad that during breaks from work, we'd all be on our Switches just silently binging run after run, not talking to each other. This is one of my favorite games of the last 10 years, and the gameplay loop is so intoxicating that when you die, the first thing you feel like doing is just starting another run. The P5 song "Zagreus" is named after the protagonist in this game, and if you've listened all the way to the end, you'll recognize the last 4 chords of the song are a nod to the motif that plays when you die – which happens a lot, so it gets burned into your brain pretty easily. Darren Korb composed all the music in this game, and the soundtrack is wonderful.

Returnal

A couple of us got pretty heavy into Returnal, though Misha was the one that initially got Jake and I into it. Again, another really fun rogue-like with an insanely fun gameplay loop, and it's genuinely one of the best feeling games to come out in recent years. Excellent sound design, with a really clever use of Blue Öyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" worked into the game as a recurring theme. The song "Atropos" is named after the planet on which the game is set.

Final Fantasy (the entire franchise)

Not much explanation needed here. Nobuo Uematsu, the series' composer for most of the main games, is one of our biggest musical influences. We grew up with the music being etched into our brains from hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours of playing those games, and he's left his mark on everything from early Periphery, Haunted Shores, old Bulb demos, and everything under the Periphery umbrella, really. The final track on P5 is entitled "Thanks Nobuo," and it is, in essence, just a thank you note to him. We worked in some themes from FF7 all over that song. See if you can spot them!

Elden Ring

My life was swallowed up by Elden Ring last year. The art-style made me really want to push some of our music into a darker place, and I just wanted everything we did as a band to just be 1/10000th as epic as that game was. Also if you've reached the final boss fight, the way the main menu theme is reprised orchestrally feels so satisfying, especially if you're invested. Any time Periphery references various themes and melodies from past records, I can only hope the listener experiences a small fraction of that feeling.

Bloodborne, Dark Souls 1-3 & Demon's Souls

These are just some of my favorite games ever, and they impact any music with which I'm involved. On Haunted Shores last record, Void, I wanted the album art to feel like something ripped right out of Bloodborne, and I aimed to have the music to feel every bit as hostile as that game. Spencer is also deep into these games and it definitely inspired both of us during these sessions, especially early on during writing.

Periphery will release Periphery V: Djent Is Not A Genre on March 10. Pre-orders are available here.

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