Dutch band Textures have put together an impressive sophomore release here with Drawing Textures. A five-piece band featuring two guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, and two vocalists, the music on the CD is at times rhythmically technical like Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad, or Fear Factory, and at others the feel is a little more melodic and atmospheric, like a mixture of Devin Townsend's solo material with perhaps the mellower parts of metalcore bands like Bleeding Through and Atreyu. For the most part though, this is pretty blistering stuff, with uncanny drum barrages from Stef Broks, who powers his way through machine-like staccato guitar riffs from Jochem Jacobs & Bart Hennephof. Synthesizer player Richard Rietdijk drops in some atmospheric keys when needed, more for effect than as a lead instrument, but it does the job to temper the manic aspect of the bands music. Take the song "Illumination" for example, where the first half of the song is a brutal Meshuggah-like excursion into fast, technical metal, with intense guitar work, anguished screams, and blazing rhythms, before things settle down and the keyboard washes float in along with some pleasant melodic vocals. The band's prog tendencies come out full force on the emotional "Upwards", complete with Radiohead-meets-Porcupine Tree vocals, keyboard orchestrations, and fantastic guitar & drum work. The real kicker is the rampaging stop/start complexity of the brutal "Millstone", one of the heaviest pieces on the album that perfectly sounds like what the combination of hardcore and progressive metal should sound like. The band doesn't lay down too many guitar solos, but when they do, as on "Touching the Absolute", expect some fiery, Allan Holdsworth inspired legato lines.
If you are familiar with the promise that the debut album Polars showed, this one will surely knock your socks off. Listenable Records have quite a find here in Textures, so check it out and see what all the fuss has been about.
1. Drive (2:27)
2. Regenesis (4:57)
3. Denying Gravity (5:16)
4. Illumination (1:56)
5. Stream Of Consciouness (6:48)
6. Upwards (6:07)
7. Circular (5:14)
8. Millstone (3:42)
9. Touching The Absolute (8:07)
10. Surreal State Of Enlightenment (3:49)