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Review roundup - the best new prog metal releases

Dom Lawson rounds up the latest prog metal releases from Textures, Fallujah, Cyborg Octopus, Goatpsalm and Withem

If you’ve been remotely intrigued by the progressive nature of the ongoing tech metal/djent scene, spare a thought for Textures. Having been one of this new metallic movement’s pioneering forces, the band have often been overlooked, but new album Phenotype (Nuclear Blast) is another demonstration of their unique sound, instinctive ingenuity and technical prowess. Like a less eccentric Between The Buried And Me with a greater focus on straight-up (but polyrhythmic) riffing, songs like New Horizons and Timeless may stray too far into the growled vocals and punishing physicality of extreme metal for more sensitive prog fans, but the band’s depth and skill may ultimately prove irresistible.

Much the same can be said for Fallujah, a band with roots in the death metal world but whose collective vision has long since marked them out as inveterate proggers. Dreamless (Nuclear Blast) is their wildest and most musically adventurous album to date; a pointedly cinematic and densely atmospheric journey through shimmering galaxies of crystalline melody and outright fury. Again, the guttural vocals may prove an obstacle, but Fallujah owe far more to Devin and Floyd than they do to any death metal band.

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