Progressive metal is all about the atmosphere (and weird timings and all the other minutia). By building layers of huge guitars and crashing percussion, Textures’ fifth album, Phenotype is a giant album. Each song is a barrage of heavy and unrelenting riffs that make this album a huge jam all around.
The album begins very abruptly with ‘Oceans Collide’, the most metal the album gets. Despite distorted guitars being the focal point of the track, it also builds a big atmosphere by the end of the song, where clean vocals replace the thick screaming. The album’s latest single ‘Shaping A Single Grain Of Sand’ is similarly unrelenting, very big and in-your-face. ‘Illuminate The Trail’ also has a huge presence that makes it a highlight of the record. The album also contains some gentler moments hidden within the walls of distortion. ‘Meander’ is a percussion instrumental that builds urgency into the fantastic ‘Erosion’. ‘Zman’ is another interlude, but it features a beautiful piano instrumental, in which the instrument reprises itself at the conclusion of the album, at the end of ‘Timeless’. ‘Erosion’ is perhaps the most electrifying song on the record, excelling in every aspect. It’s heavy, disjointed, upfront, and fantastic melodically. The guitar solo in it will absolutely melt your face off, too. The ending is a haunting choir, on top of a clean guitar. Vocally impressive moments on the album are ‘The Fourth Prime’ and the triumphant intro of ‘New Horizons’, both of which showcase Daniël de Jongh’s clean and screaming registers.
Phenotype is an all-around progressive metal record, filled to the brim with djenty riffs and blast beats. Textures showcase their musical prowess while still creating a lot of atmosphere and nothing too complex that would turn the listener off. A great record to sit back and jam out too, though nothing too spectacular.
Favorite Tracks: Erosion, New Horizons
Least Favorite Tracks: Shaping A Single Grain Of Sand