The Observable Type is: Good.
Phenotype, the newest album from Dutch born Textures, is yet another piece of music from the Djent genre that proves this style of metal is making the most progression while not losing out on what makes it heavy. While bands like Periphery and Monuments are able to reach out and bring more of their cleaner influences into the metal fold, Textures has looked inward. Grabbing a darker corner to bring the heavy in a way that their predecessors are almost shying away from, while still keeping these huge prog rock choruses that they’re known for.
For example on songs like “Illuminate The Trail,” it’s like waking up in the middle of a war zone. Barreling into your ears with the power of a group of migrating elephants, “Illuminate The Trail,” the fourth songs on the album, seems to change course on a dime. Before you know it, the song begins to open up and this big epic vocal begins to take over.
On other tracks like “New Horizons,” it begins with a beautiful vocal and then tackles the listener to the ground with a brutal evolution. Breakdowns and off the wall time changes come with such ferocity, it’s a wonder the human brain can even keep up. This is a testament to how good Stef Brooks, Textures’ drummer, is. These songs are not easy and often require a big mental work out to keep up.
In fact this whole band is taking us all to school with Phenotype. Every piece of the Textures machine (Bart, Stef, Remko, Uri, Daniel and Joe) is doing an excellent job with their instruments. Everything from the vocals, to the guitar solos, drum fills and even the keys, are note and tone perfect. The secret weapon on this album though belongs to Daniels vocal parts and arrangements. The man can go from an absolute angelic croon to a beastly growl without warning, often back and forth within the same song.
Somehow this whole thing makes sense. The robotic tempo changes and the ungodly solos and heavy riffs all seem to gel with their progressive leanings. Which really is what this band is shooting for. Making Messhuggah and Dream Theater bedfellows may not seem that tough, but Textures is making it look easy.