Admittedly, I do have the previous offering by Holland’s TEXTURES, “Polars,” but I don’t think I’ve listened to it since the day I bought it used two years ago. So it didn’t catch my attention, but at the same time I feel like this is my first experience with the band.
This is a curious little album. The first two tracks (which may as well just be one seven minute track considering their interconnectedness) are dominated by some fairly faceless Metalcore, but there’s about a minute in the middle of “Regenesis” I could believe came from “Synchestra” by THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND, as it has that same sort of layered, almost happy conglomeration of guitar and vocal elements that should be dissonant, but really aren’t. It makes you turn your head, then shake it when they go back to the dull Metalcore stuff. “Denying Gravity” is something similar, but only with some kinda-sorta-maybe jazzy guitar harmonies over sludgy Modern Metal. It creates an interesting sound in and of itself, but the band doesn’t do much interesting with said sound.
Actually, that’s the story of "Drawing circles". It’s plagued with a lot of needless, dull Metalcore surrounding some legitimately interesting ideas that the band simply does not—or cannot—capitalize on. I hear things that I say to myself “This is the sort of stuff I like. I should like this.” But my gut just shrugs. There’s an intangible missing and I hate that, because it’s something so hard to pin down. It’s easy enough to say “The Metalcore kills it,” which is only part of the truth. Fortunately, the longer the album goes, the more TEXTURES throw in their kinda-melodic, sorta-Progressive, more interesting parts.
This release has a lot of promise. I’m surprised, because it feels like a debut. There are some good ideas, but they’re plagued with misfires. “Polars” was hyped to the moon and back by some of the international Metal mags, so it surprises me that the follow up sounds like this. I’m definitely intrigued to check back with their next album, but TEXTURES hasn’t wormed their way into my heart yet. And I’m sorry, but they really don’t live up to those precocious song titles.
(Online October 31, 2006)