Some people call them the most promising act of the Dutch Metal scene. Internationally renowned Metal magazine Aardschok describes them as “an extraordinary talented band, which has delivered an album of international potential”. You think those were big words? OOR magazine, the most popular music magazine in the Netherlands, label “Polars” as “the best Dutch album ever made”.
Progressive Metal from The Netherlands isn’t really my speciality but judging from my extended listen to TEXTURES debut CD it appears I’ve found another corner to examine, but I still think the statements above are exaggerated and misleading. So let’s clean the table and start over again and have a look at this much talked about band.
TEXTURES is the perfect band name for the Dutch sextet, their music is a large scale of different, intricate textures that goes well beyond the usual norms in Progressive Metal. The first listen led to confusion because of the complexity that twists and turns throughout nearly one hour, there’s just so much to track within a single song, hell it’s difficult to know when a song starts and when it’s over. They’re heading for a self-supportive sound, which is good of course, but it shines through how much they want to be everything that MESHUGGAH can’t and never will compromise: accessibility.
What these guys eat for breakfast I don’t know but it can’t be anything else than a glass of Umeå musicianship, a big chunk of Jazz’o’Pops and small bits of other technical meals which will remain unidentified until next time. MESHUGGAH is an obvious influence (vocally and instrumentally), take their Math Metal songwriting, riffing and soloing and mix it together with FEAR FACTORY precision, the weirdness of S.Y.L., the modern sound of SCARVE and add a bit of the bands progressive voracity and you have a good vision of the sound: it’s extreme, fast, atmospheric, technical, progressive and has its avant-gardish moments as well.
Every song is different from the next. “Swandive” and “Ostensibly Impregnable” (lovely title by the way) is a very good introduction; a lot of blastbeating, melodic aggression and slick progressiveness run through these tracks all at once. The band works with elaborate soundscapes on “Effluent” and “Heave” through some keyboard sequences, not very interesting to listen to actually but it’s a nice twist to their wicked sound. The 19 minute title track won’t disappoint fans of Progressive Metal, even the sceptical ones will fall down to their knees, I guarantee.
I’ve said enough. If you’ve read this far you know what to expect, well, sort of. They have the brains to go far and with a debut like “Polars” I can only predict a bright and eventful future in the name of TEXTURES. (Online March 22, 2004)