It’s February. We are a month into the year and so far I’ve been completely spoiled in terms of feeding the monkey on my back. The one that needs a new album every five minutes. I must have got a horseshoe up my ass or something. This first bit of the year is going to annihilate the rest of it, that or 2016 is going to make me start smoking. Why am I so stoked you might ask? Nuclear Blast has blessed my genitals with Tilburg, NLD’s Progressive Death Titans, Textures’ new album Phenotype. I’m still, somehow, wearing pants but that’s not gonna stop me from splooging all over this bitch.
For those who are unfamiliar with Textures, here’s my usual overly descriptive rant of the orgy of music that anyone who frequently reads my Sarah Palin-esque banters already knows and hates. Put this god awful sweaty image in your head yet again. Messhugah and Soilwork ended up in the back of a tour bus with a bit too much of whatever the fuck this crazy eastern European’s tend to drink. Nine months later this grotesque beast was birthed out of one of their wombs (I’ll let you decide who depending on your imagination and gag reflexes), to which the monstrosity was then adopted by Killswitch Engage and raised in the fine arts of fucking everything you’ve ever known. It’s disgustingly progressive, and I mean disgustingly, your head will fall off trying to figure out a time signature. It’s got a ferocity that is typically indigenous to a melodic death band but then topped off with the twang of a metalcore project and slinging the soaring choruses of both. A texture all on its own, if you will. Yeah, that’s right I’m clever and shit.
Absolutely no prisoners are taken as “Ocean’s Collide” breaks your butthole open through your ears. Vicious polyrhythms and breakneck time signature changes plague the piece from beginning to end. “New Horizons” then proceeds to forcefully inject you with estrogen and give you your first period, regardless of gender, only to yet again snap what remains of your neck in an attempt to regain manliness. “Shaping a Single Grain of Sand” is the first so far to be caught on youtube and is a perfect representation of the record itself (if a small taste is required). As the album rolls on, at a lengthy rate I might add, various moments make you beg for it to stop (because you use a safeword, right?) but, the most notable for this disgusting excuse for a human being (me) is “The Fourth Prime.” It stands out in all it’s groovy glory.
Typically, I’m the type of man to wanna do my homework on a band before I write one of these epics. I’m going to be a bit of a lazy bitch this time around as I got a bit too excited to just fap this piece right out. Do I know if this band has improved from previous work? Fuck no, but is this particular piece absolutely worth your dollar in every possible way? Fucking right it is.
You might ask why an 8/10 as opposed to my usual over-exaggerated responses. My only qualm is a certain electronic and plastic feeling that can be found at certain parts of the record, particularly with the drum interlude, “Meander.” If this was the desired effect then by all means, I’ll shut my bitch mouth but, as somebody that loves an authentic and warm sound to anything, this track didn’t do it for me and actually threw me off a wee bit. Otherwise, all aspects of the sound quality are through the roof. The singing felt a tad pitchy at times but as someone that’s unfamiliar with their previous work, it’s hard to say if it’s on purpose. All of that aside, this is a banging record and yet another indication why Nuclear Blast seems to be out to fuck your skull this year.
Phenotype is released tomorrow, February 5th on Nuclear Blast.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Danielle Kenedy