Textures
Phenotype


3.5
great

Review

by Oranges. CONTRIBUTOR (72 Reviews)
February 14th, 2016 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Welcome the new day.

It’s been five long years since Textures’s last album, Dualism, which saw the band focusing on the more melodic aspects of their music over technicality. After taking such a long break, it’s to be expected that a band would come back sounding more mature, refined, and just more cohesive as a whole. This is proven true, as Phenotype ultimately has Textures follow up on the more streamlined sound they built on Dualism, while introducing a few minor changes into the mix.

“Oceans Collide” kicks off with the staples of a Textures album: aggressive, technical guitars and harsh vocals gradually transitioning into slower, more melodic sections, with glimmering synths and proficient drumming remaining consistent throughout. “Shaping a Single Grain of Sand” expands on this heavily, with the placid, clean chorus contrasting the fiercer, more energetic guitar riffs and screamed vocals through the rest of the track. Production-wise, the main focus is most certainly on the guitars, but the vocals and other instrumental sections are balanced out quite well. Bart Hennephof’s guitarwork is slightly less centered on the groove-driven riffs of Dualism and more on brisk, spirited rhythms, while Stef Broks’s drums and Uri Dijk’s keyboards contrast one another perfectly.

The atmospheric elements developed from Dualism are even more prevalent here, with quieter, ambient-based sections littered around in tracks such as “Erosion”, and a softer, piano-based instrumental in the form of “Zman”. Compared to Dualism, the album feels even lighter and easier to digest, with the band’s newer, less complex approach to songwriting having more time to manifest itself properly. You really do get the impression that Textures have settled into this distinct approach, and utilize their skills effectively to design a stronger album.

Phenotype is not without its flaws, however. Firstly, Daniel De Jongh’s vocals weren’t a particularly strong point of Dualism, and they’re still far from a highlight here. His clean singing is adequate enough to suit the style, but his harsher vocals lack quite a bit of power to them, and end up feeling kind of forced in the long run. The most glaring problem with the album manifests itself in the longer tracks, where the band doesn’t do anything wrong per se, but at the same time fail to produce something impressive. Take “Illuminate the Trail”, for example: At no point does the song suddenly veer off track or the like, but there’s nothing all that remarkable about it besides a decent guitar solo towards the latter half.

In spite of its minor flaws, though, Phenotype still stands tall at the end of the day, and is a strong indication that the Dutch metallers still have what it takes to make engaging, accessible music. One can only hope that their next planned project, Genotype, can match up to the standards they’ve set up for themselves.



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user ratings (135)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
BeyondCosby (3.5)
The phenotype of an established progressive metal band....


Comments:Add a Comment 
ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
February 13th 2016


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks to talonsoffire for the proofread. album is up for streaming on spotify. as always, criticism is welcome.

CaimanJesus
February 13th 2016


2777 Comments


Good review. The single was pretty sweet, so I might check this.

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
February 13th 2016


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks dude. i think you'll dig.

Relinquished
February 13th 2016


36456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

doesn't read as a 3.5 dude, you literally pointed out one negative



but yea man too bad Daniel's not pulling off those Cilice vocals

SharkTooth
February 13th 2016


13751 Comments


sweet review as always mate, reads like I'd probably give it a 2.5-3(mainly due to the clean vocals) so idk if I'll check this out, but it's still on my radar

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
February 13th 2016


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@relinquished to be perfectly honest, i was leaning more towards a 4, and might just bump it up if it grows enough on me.



@sharktooth thanks, feel free to check it out anyways.

Apollo
February 13th 2016


10670 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

first I've ever heard of this band....jamming New Horizons now....the cleans are pretty cringe worthy but this isn't bad actually

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
February 13th 2016


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you think so? i didn't really mind the cleans honestly. glad you like it though.

Relinquished
February 13th 2016


36456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you need to beef up your review orange, the details do a fine job expressing how good of a "metal" record this is... but also fairly vague and uninteresting too. the adjective use here I can pretty much cut and paste to ANY other "technical" metal band. I'm getting nothing here about the style unless I was already familiar with the band, in addition I'm getting nothing to how this is compared to Dualism or if it's bringing anything back not found on that record (which I feel).

Apollo
February 14th 2016


10670 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah this is decent....could see it being a 3-3.5. Gonna jam it over the next few days. Sounds like it might be good for the gym.

Relinquished
February 14th 2016


36456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

try out Silhouettes by this band Apollo, it was something Maniac dug I think, real good for the gym

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2016


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you bring up fair points. it's getting late atm, but i will see how i can expand on those ideas tomorrow.

LunaticSoul
February 14th 2016


975 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm not really that impressed by the longer tracks. They're pretty much on point on the more commercial tracks but the opener and Illuminate the Trail are the main culprits dragging down the disc. Not because they are inherently bad tracks, but they go all places without being that memorable even after spinning them 7-8 times.



They're great players and there's some really amazing moments on here though. Probably their best disc all in all.



Review is too short and doesn't justify much its rating aside from focussing too much on the singer.. Who arguably has never been the most interesting feature of this band anyway.

crowing51
February 14th 2016


3501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well apparently Genotype isgoing to be a 30min long song lol. Meshuggah "I" style. So I look forward to that.

Ocean of Noise
February 14th 2016


9730 Comments


Awesome band. I prefer their debut to their other albums by a mile though.

Digging: Thursday - Full Collapse

Relinquished
February 14th 2016


36456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

debut was good ol DEI worship

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2016


6282 Comments


relinq is great in that he'll give you honest feedback if you ask - dude dgaf

not sure what I'll have that's better but heeere goes:

ok, so yea, the first paragraph just doesn't present too much in the way of an interesting thesis. you 1) say how long it's been since their last thing 2) they've improved since 3) it's not amazing, but it still r00les. the whole "it isn't groundbreaking by any means, but it's still pretty good!" line I always see (or variation of) is just really cliche tbh, and it doesn't really compel.

the rest of the review gets the job done. but, i mean, it seems like you're sorta struggling to find much to say besides "the guitar does that and the drums do this and it works."

I also disagree with Relinq's gripe about the rating. you don't need to start listing off faults to justify not giving an album a 4/5 or higher. IMO an album needs to be more than "without obvious flaws" to get higher than a 3.5... but whatever.

but yeah, i don't think review would entice any readers that aren't already stoked for this album. it's a dece review for sure, but... yeah. idk. I'm not really into this musical style at all, so I'm at a loss to really help beef this up. i guess you could reference Greg's review for their last album

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2016


21851 Comments


I'm incline to agreed with 'quished when it comes to the content of the review. My favorite part of it was the third paragraph, when you fleshed out your thoughts on the vocals. I think you could probably do this throughout the entirety of the review. Also like he said maybe try to talk to about what makes these guys different than other bands of their kind (or if they don't stand out, what makes them similar) as well as compare their sound to Dualism. Five years is a long time, I feel like it would be important to know either they've grown or how they haven't. You have a good basis, but this review could definitely be expanded upon.

Digging: Grinning Death's Head - Blood War

Relinquished
February 14th 2016


36456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not so much that I thought the review need more than one point of fault to justify its rating, it just needed more. the way it reads, the rating could go either way depending on the audience.



the whole "it isn't groundbreaking by any means, but it's still pretty good!" line I always see (or variation of) is just really cliche tbh, and it doesn't really compel.



the rest of the review gets the job done. but, i mean, it seems like you're sorta struggling to find much to say besides "the guitar does that and the drums do this and it works."


well put too, I see this alot here

Ocean of Noise
February 14th 2016


9730 Comments


debut was good ol DEI worship


It was partially that, yeah... But there was originality to it as well. I loved the ambient tracks.



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