With so many djent-styled band saturating the scene it’s easy to forget that Textures were making groundbreaking tech-metal long before seven-string guitars were de rigeur.
They are achingly slow to release albums but their fifth release, one half of a conceptual two-parter to be completed by Genotype later in the year, is a sturdy reminder that these Dutch proggers are world class. Procuring a new guitarist in the shape of Joe Tal has done them some favours; the harmonies are life-affirming and emotive, the slower moments are bewitched by sublimely produced melodies and the dizzying solos by Tal take Phenotype out of the sterilised tech landscape into more commercial pastures.
A panic-inducing opener full of Daniël de Jongh’s roaring vocals drives the start of Phenotype into full speed, offering up the sort of synth-laden melodic aggression that you’d hear from Strapping Young Lad, while New Horizons is symptomatic of its name, a full-blown djent-fuelled, spiralling epic that commands the lugholes like a hyper-fuelled Skyharbor melted with Sikth.
If ever Textures got lost in the mire of heritage bands, this places them back on the map and makes them more vital than ever.