Textures Phenotype

Textures Phenotype
8
Silent since the release of 2011's Dualism, Dutch prog metal outfit Textures are now primed to make some noise. Their latest LP, Phenotype, is the first of two full-length efforts the band will release in two years; their sister record, Genotype, will arrive in early 2017.
 
Described as the more song-based record of the two, Phenotype is the sound of a band very much in tune with their melodic brand of metal after their five-year absence. While it's evident their songwriting is in top shape from the onset of the crushing polyrhythms that open "Oceans Collide," it's the vocals of Daniël de Jongh that show the most noticeable improvement. A more than capable vocalist in clean and distorted situations, his growls exhibit a touch more grit than past recordings, especially when he pushes his range on the aforementioned opener and "New Horizons."
 
The unquestionable highlight is "Illuminate the Trail," a seven-minute behemoth that balances songwriting skill and vocal prowess while boasting a range of dynamic changes (its mid-tempo middle section is a stark contrast to the metal fury its bookended by) and more of de Jongh's vocal acrobatics. (Nuclear Blast)