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Textures - Drawing Circles
The Netherlands have always been a small but significant player in the metal scene. Bands like Gorefest, Pestilence, The Gathering and more prog-orientated stuff like Ayreon put our country on the “map”. Well, it’s safe to say that Textures belong on that list. “Drawing Circles” is the band’s follow-up to “Polars”, their self-produced debut record that was already considered to be one of the best dutch metal records ever. Vocalist Pieter Verpaalen left the band and Erik Kalsbeek (formerly of Brainshake) got recruited as the new main man. After a lot of touring (and supporting bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah and Morbid Angel) the band jumped into the studio. Expectations where high, but fortunately they delivered.
People who know the band know what to expect, but for the people who don’t: Textures plays a mix of metal with the rythmic influences of Meshuggah, but hints of the works of Devin Townsend are also present. Its hard to really label it but that description will have to do. “Polars” also had its fair share of almost ambient segments, loved by some and hated by others. The guys didn’t change their sound to much for their next album, but there are some differences. “Drawing Circles” is a concept album, with all the songs neatly flowing into each other. It's hard to pick any standout songs since they all work very well together. I won’t bother picking some highlights, because in my opinion you should listen it from start to back and consider the whole thing as one big song.
Wait. Let's do pick some tracks. I`m such a filthy liar, haha. Anyways.. Some of my personal favourites are on the latter part of the album, one of them being the mostly instrumental “Upwards”. Which exactly does what the title suggests; lifting you up because of the build-up in the song. Or what about the jazzy intro to “Touching The Absolute”? Because I do not want to spoil the record, I suggest to check out the tracks you can listen on the band’s website so you get a good idea.
The album sounds a bit less 'in-your-face-brutal', but the cohesiveness and overall flow make up for that. Kalsbeek is also a big step forward regarding vocal capabilities, from a Jens Kidman growl to clean singing, there seems very little that he can’t do. It has always been my opinion that his former band Brainshake was carried on his talent and his work on this album proves my point. In the musical department, the band has cut back a bit on the elaborate “calm / ambient” passages, opting for a more instrumental approach within the songs. The musicianship is top notch, with crazy riffs and ditto drumming. Somewhere I also hoped to find a cool suprise like the saxophone solo on “Polars” or something similar, but it seems that the guys sticked a “band-only” label on this record. Fair enough. The production and artwork are both excellent, I think that it's amazing that a result like this can be realised with the “independent attitude” that these guys have.
Personally I would love to give this album the full score, but somehow I miss some crazy nutty technical moments. Given the whole musical perspective of the album, those might sound not all to well with the rest of the (relatively) organic sounding material. Maybe on the next record?

It’s hard not to throw some superlatives around like “Brilliant”, “Amazing”, because most of you will already know that Textures is a damn good band. “Drawing Circles” is the proof that these guys aren’t a one trick pony, and that they belong with the bands I named in my intro.
Textures - Drawing Circles
94/1001Details Listenable Records
Released on Monday Apr 17th, 2006

Writer @Carn on Friday Mar 31st, 2006

Tags: #Textures
Tracklisting 1. Drive (2:27)
2. Regenesis (4:57)
3. Denying Gravity (5:16)
4. Illuminatio (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)
Line up Jochem Jacobs - Guitar, Vocals
Stef Broks - Drums
Richard Rietdijk - Synths
Dennis Aarts - Bass
Eric Kalsbeek - Vocals
Bart Hennephof - Guitar
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