Textures - Drawing Circles - 2007 - Listenable Records
1. Drive 2. Regenesis 3. Denying Gravity 4. Illumination 5. Stream Of Consciousness 6. Upwards 7. Circular 8. Millstone 9. Touching The Absolute 10. Surreal State Of Enlightenment
I recently remembered hearing a clip of Regenesis after being thoroughly disappointed in the new A Life Once Lost CD and thought, "wow, this is what ALOL should have sounded like. In fact, the song Regenesis screams of ALOL's masterpiece CD, A Great Artist. However, after getting my hands on Textures second full length CD, Drawing Circles, I was amazed at how explosive they sound, as well as how quickly I discounted my views of how alike ALOL they were. In fact, they are much better than the aforementioned band, as well as a lot of other bands in the ever-so-popular progressive math-metal scene. Textures displays an awesome balance between metal and jazz elements, as well as ambient textures (no pun intended). This sextet from the Netherlands has a maturity about their song delivery that is beyond comprehension, and is consistent throughout the whole CD.
The first song, Drive, is a short song for an album opener (clocking in at just under 2 1/2 minutes). However, Textures are able to make a statement here by showing off their progressive and jazz roots, while giving the listener plenty of head-banging fuel. The second song, Regenesis, will immediately get your blood pumping as it roars into a very precision-like progressive metal tune, and then throws in a little ambience, clean vocals, and gang vocals along the way, creating a unstoppable versatility without loosing it's edge at all. The 3rd song, Denying Gravity, has a Lamb of God style opening riff, then suddenly breaks down into a Meshuggah-heavy sound with polyrhythmic beats, and complex guitar riffs. The song eventually slows down into a more acoustic progressive sound with clean vocals. The next song, Illumination, is an ambient-based piece with clean vocals throughout. Although this track is completely different from the rest of the CD, it uniquely fits in perfectly with the direction of the album. Even though it is more or less an acoustic piece, it is a very dark and emotional number that becomes an addictive listen. This song is also the perfect setup song for Stream of Consciousness. At just under 7 minutes long, this song is as complex as it is vicious. It is also my favorite song on the CD as it pummels through numerous riffs and a massive blast beat parts that compliments the signature Textures sound. The 6th song, Upwards, is mostly an acoustic song with clean vocals up until around the 4 1/2 minute mark, when the heavier, faster elements come into play. The 7th song, Circular, is a massive wall of progressive metal in the vein of early Meshuggah. Adding some clean vocals and harsh screams to the mix, as well as sick riff around the 4:20 mark guarantees this song as an album favorite. The next song, Millstone, brings all the elements of Textures together and crushes all the way to the end without letting up. The albums longest song at just over 8 minutes, Touching the Absolute, combines elements of jazz fusion, melodic metal, and clean vocals, to show how versatile Textures can be, then suddenly rips into harsh progressive metal. The song eventually ends how it started, but not without taking the listener on an aggressive metal journey. The album closer, Surreal State of Enlightenment, is a progressive instrumental that slowly builds up to a nice melody, and then fades into, well, a surreal state of enlightenment.
If you are a fan of progressive metal, math metal, or whatever they are calling it these days, then check out Drawing Circles by Textures. Filled with loads of metal, elements of jazz, harsh and clean vocals, and everything in between, Textures does not disappoint at all and could be the sleeper album that ranks in the top metal albums of 2007. With an album as bold as Drawing Circles, I am already curious as to how Textures will top it with their next release.
About this Writer: David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.
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