I’d kept myself clear of TEXTURES up until now, being associated with a crowd and genre people tend to use a certain D word to describe (although I won’t use said term as I believe it’s moot). I’m slightly kicking myself now that I hadn’t heard these guys sooner. This is some pretty cool Progressive Metal with crossover appeal in spades.
Pegging TEXTURES’ sound straight off the bat, I’d have to say that the band sound like a cross between MESHUGGAH and KARNIVOOL which is a real good mix, there are also slight nods to acts such as the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT and ANIMALS AS LEADERS. TEXTURES certainly have a technically proficient edge to their sound, although it is largely due to the polyrhythms they use in their harder edged grooves. The production is crisp and deep, with a fair bit of layering in certain parts of the album. The vocals straddle between tough guy aggressive and a brilliant clean style, which for my personal palette is definitely cool. I really enjoy the clean vocals and I wish that they were utilized solely throughout “Dualism”, although the aggressive vocals will definitely appeal to those who’ve come to the band expecting MESHUGGAH type fare.
My favourite parts across “Dualism” are the more mellow parts, as there are some really cool vocal melodies, and there’s always something interesting going on. The heavier parts are pretty good too, although the vocals do turn me off a little. Still they do some interesting rhythms that are easy to focus on which offers a good distraction from the aggressive vocals. “Reaching Home” is quite possibly my favourite from the album and really shows what TEXTURES are capable of. I’d love for the band to fully embrace this particular aspect of their sound next time around. “Constant Hemispheres” is really cool as well springing up a really awesome DEVIN TOWNSEND vibe which earns the band a good deal of brownie points from this reviewer.
“Dualism” features a lot of cool stuff, and I guess looking at the big picture I’d have to say I enjoy most the parts of the album which are “tamer”. The aggressive vocals rub me the wrong way, as they’re a little too trendy for my liking as I’ve stressed countless times throughout the review. The musicianship is first class though, no doubting that. Those who enjoy acts such as TESSERACT and VILDHJARTA should already know of TEXTURES by now, and for any of those who might have missed “Dualism”; you really need to get a hold of this. Progressive Metal fans and more open minded-Metal fans (those who are free of the sway of super cool hipster-types) should find something of note here too. Definitely worth a listen, although mileage will vary depending on stylistic preference!
(Online August 29, 2012)